Cybercrime is on the increase, and data collected by the insurance broker PolicyBee shows a huge increase in cyber insurance sales since March 2020, when the UK went into lockdown.
It looks like cybercriminals have taken the opportunity to attack businesses and individuals regardless of the lockdown. Cyber attacks on UK homeworkers went up by a massive 48% during the first six weeks of lockdown, and unfortunately, it looks set to continue.
According to the latest figures, cybercrime costs the UK economy over £10 billion a year. Cybercriminals seem to be getting more sophisticated and developing more advanced ways of hacking our personal information and accounts.
If you are concerned about cybercrime on a business or personal level, you can keep up to date with the latest developments if you read the PIA cybersecurity news blog.
Types of cybercrime
We all know what cybercrime is; there’s enough about it online and in the news with companies and individuals being targeted by these crooks. But did you know that there is actually an insurance policy that covers you if you are a victim of cybercrime? You can even help reduce the expense by taking sensible precautionary measures.
Cyber stealing, cyber hacking, identity theft and the general – siphoning money out of online accounts and also, believe it or not, even the physical removal of IT security systems are just a handful of underhand tactics these crooks are using. UK police have warned that they are certainly struggling to keep abreast of the way tech is developing along with the number of ever-growing cases that are being reported. From these reported cases, it has been made apparent that those particularly at risk, are high net worth individuals.
Insuring against loss
Insurance companies now warn against cybercrime and some offer customers Home Cyber Assistance cover included as standard with their home insurance policies. The question is, what kind of protection should we be looking for? It goes without saying that, as with all insurance policies, compensation and primarily protection are paramount. Restoration of a financial loss is the main factor that you would expect your insurance policy to cover if a cybercriminal caused it. Or, it should cover any expenses associated with cases of identity theft or privacy breaches, compensating you for documents and identity settings that may need
In addition to any financial loss, the IT consultancy side of things may need to be looked at. There may be a need to repair damage caused by hackers, recover documents, apply new security measures or even carry out forensic audits. Individuals and Businesses alike may seek increased protection, in more serious cases, against the inherent and ever-increasing threat of cyber extortion. We seem to live in a world where cyberattacks are becoming the norm. It also seems that we ignore them at our own peril, as with a lot of things. However, not having the correct insurance cover level is a risk that none of us can really afford to take.
Insurance is expensive –ask anyone who has got pet insurance. With cyber insurance even being incorporated into standard insurance policies, with an additional premium to pay, companies and individuals may not be able to afford it, especially with the current climate and businesses only beginning to see the light at the end of a very long tunnel. These are truly worrying times, and in light of what’s becoming a cybercrime pandemic, how can people protect themselves and their assets, in reality and also in the virtual world?
Taking care of privacy controls and investing in the best up to date security software is a must, of course, for any business. But you could also look at other things that could all help in the long run; VPN’s (virtual private networks), firewalls and malware/virus protection.
Getting a VPN is a good way to help with your insurance and improve your overall online experience. While hiding your IP address, it also lets you get around geo-blocked content online because you can appear to be logging in from another country. Plus, with a VPN, your internet provider won’t know what you’re up to, so you can stream and torrent without the risk of being “throttled”, where the ISP slows down your speed. If you take good security measures, you should probably pay less for cyber insurance or, in an ideal world, those with bulletproof, cyber defences can presumably get away without having cyber insurance at all.