With British Airways and TV5Monde recently suffering cyber attacks, they join a growing list of mammoth organisations that have been targeted. Attacks on this scale make headline news, however there is little of the effects on smaller companies. The costs of recovery, informing customers and potential fines to smaller companies can be debilitating. RKH offers insurance both in the UK and US to protect against the costs and provide expert guidance to ensure businesses emerge with their reputations still intact.

Smaller firms "are exposed to many of the same attacks as much larger enterprises, yet they don't have the security expertise and resources available to larger firms" comments Maxim Weinstein, a security advisor at Sophos in a BBC article. In fact, figures from Sophos indicate that around 30,000 websites are being targeted by cyber attacks every single day, with a single breach for small companies estimated to cost more than $100,000 (£67,758) or as much as $1.4 million (£948,618) for large companies (McAfee report). With cyber thieves churning out around 250,000 new virus variants daily, cyber security is an issue worth moving up a small company's priority list. Most of the lower level threats can be defended against with anti-virus software, firewalls, spam filters and crucially, keeping devices updated, however some attacks are inevitable.

A business can be defined by its reaction to a cyber breach. Reaction is key, not only in terms of customer opinion and brand integrity, but also to avoid legal and regulatory consequences. In the US, new legislation requires businesses to notify consumers within 30 days of a breach. In the UK, a business can be landed with a hefty fine by the Information Commissioner if they are found to have not handled the breach effectively. Even when outsourcing data handling, the responsibility for customer data lies squarely with the business in question. Knowledge gaps often exist between the advanced technology smaller businesses use and a lack of data security and breach expertise.

R K Harrison offers flexible solutions for all sizes of business protecting against the potential costs of a cyber breach, with immediate access to specialist advice when needed. The dedicated team have a wealth of wide-ranging cyber experience and are geared to deliver a crucial, quick response. Expert guidance ensures implementation of the correct procedures and fine-tuned communications; minimising chances of a fine and reputational damage. Access to a forensic team identifies the true extent of the damage, and pinpoints only the customers who need to be informed.

To find out more about cyber insurance, please contact David Rees.