Research conducted by ICMIF member NFU Mutual (UK) has shown that 47% of businesses feel more vulnerable to cyber-attack since the increase of remote working.
Despite increased concerns, the research findings showed that 45% of businesses have not taken any action to protect themselves from cyber-crime. Of those who have not taken action, 79% think that because their business is small, the threat of cyber-attack is low. The remaining 21% were not aware of, or did not understand, the protection measures available to them.
Recognising the risks facing its small business and small farm customers, NFU Mutual introduced a free three-month cyber helpline in June of this year to provide additional support. Following the latest research findings, the service has been extended to the end of the year to help protect against the ongoing threat of online crime and to support businesses feeling vulnerable to cyber-attack.
Delivered by CyberScout, one of ICMIF’s Supporting Members and a global industry leader in cyber-security and identity theft resolution services, the helpline offers eligible customers free access to 24/7 coaching through ‘up to the minute’ methods of protection from criminals, as well as support in the event of an attack. The benefit is available to existing customers, as well as to new policy holders. *
Zoe Knight, Commercial Propositions Manager at NFU Mutual, said: “It’s common for smaller businesses to assume their size makes them less of a target, but no business, regardless of size, is safe from cyber-attack. We have extended this free service in direct response to the increased exposure our commercial customers are facing. With cyber-threats growing in sophistication, we want to help businesses understand the dangers, as well as the protection measures available to them.”
The NFU Mutual research further revealed that while 55% of businesses employed at least one cyber-security measure, only 24% had organised more than one mode of protection. 16% believe that their business’s IT supplier looks after their cyber-security needs.
Zoe commented: “The best way to defend against cyber-attack is to implement a range of security measures, providing layers of protection and accounting for different types of threat. I’d also encourage business owners to talk to their IT supplier to ensure they understand whether cyber-security is included. Again, many businesses assume existing systems protect them, but this is not always the case and it may be necessary to organise separate or additional cyber-security measures.”
Tom Spier, Commercial Director of Global Markets at CyberScout, said: “Throughout this pandemic, cyber criminals have been doing what they do best- exploiting individuals and businesses when they’re most vulnerable.
“We are pleased to partner with NFU Mutual to provide their small business policyholders with access to our world-class team of cyber experts. Home working has altered the cyber-crime landscape. Through this service, NFU Mutual small business customers will be able to seek advice on adapting their security to meet the needs of the new normal.”
NFU Mutual and CyberScout also partnered earlier this year on a new Bespoke home insurance which had Personal Cyber cover as standard. This was to ensure that members with this product had specialist cover for their privacy, data and assets.