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Don’t let your business be held to ransom: essential cyber advice from Russell Scanlan

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As the investigation into last week’s global cyber-attack is launched in the wake of days of disruption, there are new fears that SMEs who do not prioritise cyber protection could be particularly vulnerable to repeat attacks.

With the latest research showing that smaller businesses are more likely to pay ransoms to hackers, a Nottingham based insurance broker, Russell Scanlan, urges SMEs to invest robust cyber insurance policies to protect against the consequences of future incidents.

As the sheer scale of the recent Ransomware attack on the NHS and other businesses over the past week is uncovered, it is no surprise that this security breach has been labelled a ‘wake-up call’ by both Microsoft and the Government.

With 150 countries and nearly a quarter of a million computers affected by the so-called ‘WannaCry’ virus, it is clear the hackers behind this attack are proving to be more sophisticated than ever before in seeking out security weaknesses; by this time targeting businesses who have failed to keep their Windows systems up to date.

Managing Director at Russell Scanlan, Bryan Banbury, said: “For small and medium enterprises who have never previously seen cyber protection as a priority, cyber insurance is now something that simply cannot be ignored. It is cheaper and more accessible than people may think, providing both protection and practical solutions in the event of a breach.

“We work closely with Insurers who will provide SMEs with cyber support from start to finish. On call 24 hours a day, these specialist providers effectively act as a response team for each client, available to deal with potential fallout from an attack including loss of data, negative PR, system failure or data breach.”

It is essential to assess the unique vulnerabilities and risks posed to your business sector, whether it be reputational damage, operational down-time leading to loss of revenue or breach in privacy legislation, to ensure your company is protected in any potential malicious event.

Bryan continued: “Hackers’ techniques are constantly evolving, which means patching the problem simply won’t suffice. Insurance against attacks must be constantly reviewed and developed to protect your company from harmful new methods of infiltration. Investing in a Cyber Insurance policy will allow your business to overcome other hidden challenges that may be unearthed in the aftermath of an attack. This can include addressing legal liabilities and defence, accurate assessment of financial impairment and IT forensics to identify the source of the problem.

“If you have any doubts or concerns about your cyber security or if you would like to review your current policy, please give us a call.”

Ransom-ware is likely to have irreversibly lost thousands of business files across the globe and many NHS trusts that were hit are still facing serious issues which are sure to have knock-on effects for thousands of patients in what appears to be one of the biggest breaches in cyber security on record.

This latest attack is a prime example of how cyber security simply must be a priority for every business owner, whatever the size of the company. Contacting an insurance broker is key to take the stress out of finding the correct policy to suit the needs of any type of business by assessing the specific vulnerabilities that may be exploited by cyber criminals.

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