Worried about hacked computer systems and stolen data?

Authored by Stephen Ridley.
3 min read
Person looking at figures on their cellphone and laptop

Recent high profile data breaches for Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk have raised awareness of the danger and cost for businesses from a hack of their computer systems. But problems related to hackers stealing customer information, holding a business to ransom, or damaging websites and computer systems are not just for big businesses. This is why we have now made our Hiscox Cyber and Data Insurance available to buy from us direct.

A government survey last year (external link) found that 74% of small businesses suffered a data breach. And it can be easily done: you, or an employee, click on an email attachment allowing a hacker to gain control of your computer systems and encrypt all your files before demanding a ransom in return for a decryption key; confidential customer data is stolen by a hacker who manages to penetrate your systems; a hacker brings down your website; you, or an employee, accidentally emails a list of sensitive customer data to the wrong person, or loses a laptop or paper file containing the same information.

Any business can be a victim

It can be any size of business that falls victim too. Whether you’re a one person public relations consultant or an accountancy firm with 20 employees, the threat is just as apparent and can cause huge problems in not only returning to business as usual, but also in the potential reputational damage with clients. If you hold sensitive customer details such as names and addresses or banking information, are reliant on your computer systems to run your business, have a website, or are subject to a payment card industry (PCI) merchant services agreement, then your business is vulnerable.

The benefits to your business

In response, we have developed Hiscox Cyber and Data Insurance to provide small to medium sized businesses with comprehensive protection for a wide range of cyber and data risks. The key thing we recognise is that when a crisis happens, our clients need more than just an insurance policy that pays out after the event. From talking to SMEs, we know that many just don’t know who they would, or could, turn to following a data breach or cyber attack, so even if they were provided with funds, that barely scratches the surface of dealing with an issue.

Practical support

The real value of our policy comes with the claim response. As soon as we’re notified of a problem, our insurance policy offers practical support to not only help your business get back on its feet as soon as possible through the use of IT expertise and forensic investigators, but also offering legal advice where necessary and access to expert public relations support who can help you manage your reputation during the crisis. This allows you and your staff to carry on with running your business, rather than being distracted by rectifying the problems, and fielding the inevitable magnitude of calls from concerned customers.

A Hiscox Cyber and Data Insurance policy includes:

  • Breach costs – provides practical support related to a data breach – such as forensic investigations, legal advice, notification to regulators, and call centre set-up
  • Crisis containment cover to help minimise reputational damage – access to a leading public relations consultancy
  • Cyber business interruption – compensation for loss of income, or increased costs incurred, if a hacker prevents your business from earning revenue
  • Hacker damage – costs of repair, restoration or replacement if a hacker causes damage to your websites, programs or electronic data
  • Privacy protection – cover to defend and settle claims made against you for failing to keep customers’ data secure (we will also pay any costs related to a regulatory investigation  and settle civil penalties where allowed)
  • Multimedia liability – covers you if you mistakenly infringe someone’s copyright by using a picture online for example

For more information, take a look at our video guide to Hiscox Cyber and Data Insurance (external link), get a quote, or contact us.

At Hiscox, we want to help your small business thrive. Our blog has many articles you may find relevant and useful as your business grows. But these articles aren’t professional advice. So, to find out more on a subject we cover here, please seek professional assistance.

Stephen Ridley

Stephen Ridley is Lead Cyber Underwriter and Product Head for cyber and data risks at Hiscox UK and Ireland.