Simple steps to prevent a cyber-attack

SMEs can take simple steps to help protect from cyber-attack

There is no denying that cyber security is a hot topic in insurance right now. With 58% of malware attacks reported being on small businesses or organisations, and with the estimated cost of these cyber-crimes amounting to £800 million per year in the UK alone, it is time to act.

To remain competitive, insurance brokers have to be able to show their value as the trusted expert advisor of choice for their SME customers. As shown in a recent Insurance Times article, 64% of brokers surveyed said they would like more training on cyber insurance and risk. In response to this, we’re pairing up with the Chartered Insurance Institute to deliver a seminar on why cyber prevention is better than cure. Hosted on Tuesday 9th July we’ll be discussing the real life cyber risks that make SMEs in particular a vulnerable target, and how brokers can show their value as trusted expert advisor of choice for SME clients.

It’s a big focus for us at CPP Group UK, to provide our clients with not only great cyber security packages underpinned by insight, but to also educate brokers and insurance providers to help them deliver effective solutions to their customers, including SMEs.

In light of this, here are some of our top recommendations on cyber risk mitigation:

Michael Whitfield, Managing Director for CPP Group UK

1. Adopt the right technology

There is a raft of technologies out there that SMEs can easily implement to help monitor and manage their cyber security. For example, tools are readily available that monitor if your data appears on the dark web, there are defensive technologies against malware, and web domain monitoring tools that can highlight your business cyber risk exposure. Obviously, keeping anti-virus software up-to-date is a simple, quick way to prevent risk, as well as making sure you always update and patch your business software.

2. Education

There is nothing more important than understanding what your risks are. SMEs are highly vulnerable and the biggest problem is being ignorant to it. Staff too need to be aware of the threats they’re exposed to and how they can detect suspicious activity. Poor password security, using public wireless networks and opening suspicious emails can all open the door to a cyber breach.

3. Speak to a specialist

Seek out a cyber security specialist, rather than just looking for information online, which may be out-of-date or suggest solutions that aren’t appropriate for your business. As well as IT specialists, insurance brokers are well-equipped to offer advice and suggest the best cyber security solutions.

4. Think of long-term protection

Businesses should also look beyond prevention. There are specialist, affordable insurance policies for SMEs that can help in the event of a cyber-attack. These policies usually include specialist IT forensic companies to investigate what has been compromised, cover costs and business losses that arise because of a breach and some even provide public relations support to help recover from reputational damage.

And in the event of a cyber-attack:

5. Incident response planning

SMEs should make sure they have an adequate incident response plan and always think about their customers. This should include considering detection criteria; breaches often go unidentified for long periods of time so SMEs need to understand where the threat might come from. Many companies insert dummy records in their databases and simple tracking tools can be used to monitor if it appears where it shouldn’t be.  For the best chance at recovery, ensure back-up data is up-to-date and held separate to the network. Alternatively, if the company is cloud-based, keep multiple copies so the business has a ‘safe’ copy to recover.

If you have any questions about how best to protect your business from a cyber security attack, or if you are a broker or insurance provider looking to develop your product offering and are in need of advice, contact us by emailing

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