SMEs: Understanding Cyber Risks Post-2021
The events of 2021 saw many of us change the way we lived our lives, with some things sticking in our daily routines post-pandemic. Remote and hybrid working has become as common as working in the office, with many businesses adopting at least some kind of working-from-home option for workers.
2021 saw a change for business owners too, where most physical shops couldn’t operate as normal, meaning using cyberspace was the only option. The pandemic also gave housebound people time to start up their own businesses. Working digitally has many benefits, but there are risks to operating online, namely with a number of cyber risks present that are sometimes not understood or are completely overlooked. So what should SME owners be aware of, and how can they be prevented?
Identifying Cyber Risks
So what does a cyber risk look like? Cyber threats can come in many different forms. One of the most common forms is malware, which is when software is downloaded to your computer without your knowledge, either by clicking an infected link or by downloading something online.
Malware can have severe consequences. Ransomware, which is one form of malware, can lock you out of your own data, blackmailing you into paying a fee for what can be important, sensitive or secret data that you require for your business to function. Another type of malware is wiper malware, which can remove files, systems and other data when infecting a computer.
There are plenty of other cyber risks out there, including phishing. Phishing is an attempt to trick you into giving out sensitive information or clicking bad links. Common sensitive information would usually be in the form of passwords, where bad actors can gain access to email inboxes, social media accounts or website content management systems.
However, simply knowing about cyber risks isn’t enough, as even business owners who are aware of the dangers don’t have adequate cover. So what can be done to stop the present risks?
Preventing Cyber Risks
There are two steps to combating cyber risks. The first is by trying your best to prevent risks in the first place, and the second is having an insurance plan in place to cover you just in case anything sneaks through your defences.
The best way to prevent risks other than simply being aware of their existence is by having, and implementing, a risk management strategy. There are easy things you can do to ensure you, your employees and your business is operating in a safe and secure manner online, including not using duplicate passwords, checking emails thoroughly and ensuring you’re using secure internet connections. You can ordinarily have a risk management strategy included in your cyber insurance policy.
However, a staggering 90% of cyber risks are uninsured, which could be very costly for a business if you become a victim of cybercrime and have no financial recompense. There are many things that could be included in a cyber risk insurance policy that will ensure you’re protected just in case anything goes wrong digitally.
These include offering a fee for ransomware attacks, repairing or replacing damaged equipment, compensation for a loss of income and help to recover from reputational damage. However, the exact things covered in your policy can vary.
We’re able to work with you to deliver a bespoke cyber risk policy to work with the unique nature of your business, ensuring you have enough coverage where you need it and aren’t paying for it in areas where you don’t require as much protection. For example, an eCommerce site would have a different policy from a data company.