ICMIF member NFU Mutual (UK) has launched a free three-month cyber helpline service for its small business and small farm customers. The benefit will be available to existing customers, as well as to new policy holders. *
The free support follows warnings from the National Crime Agency that the UK could see organised groups taking advantage of Coronavirus uncertainty for exploitation schemes. Action Fraud reported that Coronavirus-related fraud cases increased by 400% in March, with the majority of incidents taking place online. **
Delivered by one of ICMIF’s Supporting Members CyberScout, a global industry leader in cyber security and identity theft resolution services, the free helpline launched on 25 June and will run until the 30 September 2020. The service aims to provide additional support to small business and small farm customers facing increased cyber vulnerability during the Coronavirus crisis.
Eligible customers will benefit from free access to a 24/7 cyber incident advice helpline. CyberScout’s expert advisors will coach customers through ‘up to the minute’ methods of protection from criminals, as well as being at the end of the line in the event of an attack to manage the process and limit damage. The service supports both proactive advice and response to issues, such as extortion, privacy breaches, liability, crime and data/system restore.
CyberScout is able to resolve most issues raised by businesses over the phone. In the event a case requires further investigation and support, CyberScout will provide a quote for their services, allowing callers to choose whether to proceed. NFU Mutual has advised its customers that the support does not constitute cyber insurance and does not mean that their business has cover in the event of a cyber-attack.
Zoe Knight, Commercial Propositions Manager at NFU Mutual, said: “Small business owners are facing an increase in cyber-attacks and online scams. Business premises and systems are usually secure or ‘trusted’, but with more people working from home and on new devices, the potential of cyber security risks for businesses has grown.
“We have launched this free service in direct response to the increased exposure our commercial customers are facing. Brazen criminals are adopting more and more sophisticated approaches to exploit fear and uncertainty as they look to reap rewards from the current crisis.
“Any business can fall victim to cybercrime, and our customers told us that they weren’t sure who to turn to in the event of an attack. With unlimited support now available to our small business and small farm customers 24/7, we hope we can help businesses work virtually with more confidence.”
Tom Spier, Commercial Director – Global Markets at CyberScout, said: “Throughout this pandemic, cyber criminals are 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. With this model program, NFU Mutual is recognising COVID-related cyber threats and providing their customers the highest level of support and care when it’s needed most.”
In addition to this free service, NFU Mutual has committed to a £32m Coronavirus Support Package to help its customers and their communities during the current crisis. The package includes £1.8m of charitable donations, additional cover across a range of policies and a commitment to speed up claims.
* Further information on the helpline
The helpline service is available to NFU Mutual small business and small farm customers with a turnover up to £3million and up to ten employees. Customers will need to provide their policy number when calling. Personal cyber matters are not covered by this helpline. This is a helpline advice service only, provided by CyberScout on behalf of NFU Mutual. It does not constitute insurance cover.
** Fraud trends and figures quoted
National Crime Agency warn that organised crime groups may try to exploit the Coronavirus outbreak to target the UK: https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/national-crime-agency-warn-that-organised-crime-groups-may-try-to-exploit-the-coronavirus-outbreak-to-target-the-uk
Action Fraud figures have been taken from the below article: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports-increase-by-400-in-march