Over the last decade or so, the internet has taken the world by storm. We use it more and more every day, it’s constantly in the palms of our hands and most of us even rely on it for day to day life and business.
Unfortunately though, the internet and the world of computers aren’t always as safe and secure as we’d like them to be, and your personal, private and confidential information could be at risk of some kind of security breach. Whether you run your own business, a charity, a cyber café or an IT suite or even take care of administration for a Church or other place of worship, cyber risks and attacks are something you should know about.
What are cyber risks?
A cyber risk is any potential risk of loss to yourself or your organisation or business. This could be a financial loss, disruption, or any damage to equipment or your reputation because of some kind of problem or failure with your computers and IT system.
If you hold personal information, such as clients or members email addresses or phone numbers on a computer, a breach in your security could mean that you lose this information and that outsiders might be able to access it. Those contact details might then be susceptible to spam mail which could even lead to a virus being transferred to the recipient’s computer. A cyber breach or attack, could equally be something as simple as a hacker gaining access to your online bank account.
Having your computer hardware stolen, damaged or a software crash are all cyber risks too. Having your computer stolen would not only mean the loss of the physical hardware but also any data that was stored on there. For a business this would of course be hugely inconvenient and could halt work for an unforeseeable amount of time, and for situations such as computer cafes and IT suites, a lack of service is a lack of income.
How can I protect myself and my organisation against these types of cyber risks?
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to entirely prevent a breach. Cyber attackers are extremely clever and if they want to hack into your computer system to get hold of your protected data, then they will find a way. One of the only things you can do is to prepare yourself and your business in case this does happen. We think this insurer, Hiscox gives some brilliant advice on how to make sure you’re prepared. Click here to see Hiscox’s advice.
Recovering any lost data can often be easier said than done. While you won’t be able to take intercepted data back from a hacker, you can make sure you do regular backups of your data, so that you always have a spare copy. Any data should be kept securely and in line with the Data Protection Act (DPA). You can read more about the DPA on the Safer Places of Worship website, here.
For any kind of damage to your computer (or computers in the case of a cyber café or IT suite), theft or a software crash, and for any loss of data by these means or by human error or fraudulent activity, you should always make sure that you are sufficiently insured and that your policy definitely does cover your cyber risks. Some policies specifically exclude cyber risks and you may need an extended or additional policy to cover all cyber risks. If you are unsure about your cover, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01564 730 900, and your account handler will be able to look into this for you.
If you already run a Cyber Café or IT Suite or perhaps you are thinking of starting one, we recommend you take a look at the SPOW website for practical advice on keeping your computers and customers safe. Click here to visit SPOW.