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Coronavirus attacks show UK cyber vulnerabilities: GlobalData

12th March 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Data and analytics company GlobalData has reported that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK remain underinsured and vulnerable to cyber attacks.

cyber-attack-hackerThe comments come amid a surge of coronavirus-related cyber attacks, which UK police estimate to have caused £800,000 of total losses from 21 separate cases in February alone.

The phishing attacks have either claimed to have an attached list of people with the virus or have even asked the victim to make a bitcoin payment for it.

“One way of combating this is with preventative measures,” noted Ben Carey-Evans, Financial Services Analyst at GlobalData.

“Some cyber insurers focus on preventing attacks to reduce payouts and avoid lasting damage for companies. A key form of this is in training staff, especially in how to spot phishing emails, to make sure they are not letting hackers into their systems.”

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Only 22.4% of SMEs in the UK report to be covered for human error, according to GlobalData.

Given that the penetration rate of cyber insurance for SMEs in 2019 was 34.6%, the majority of SMEs in the country are leaving themselves vulnerable to cyber-attacks, it argued.

Preventative policies are more expensive but are arguably worth the risk to avoid disruption, and this fact seems to be recognised by SMEs.

Notably, the percentage of SMEs that do not have cyber insurance but would be interested in it, is slightly higher than the existing numbers for both categories.

According to GlobalData, this indicates that both have growth potential, though it is still under one in four (23.9%) for human error and one in five for staff training (18.6%).

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