Conducted by Aon Risk Solutions, a recent research survey of 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) decision makers uncovered some worrying results. The study, which took place in the UK, found that although 31% of respondents consider developing their online presence as a key opportunity in the year ahead, only 7% have cyber insurance. These organizations are putting their entire operation and all of their customer data at risk, so why the reluctance to buy cyber coverage?
“One reason is that it’s not being sold to clients properly,” explains Jeremy Barnett, Senior Vice President of Marketing at NAS Insurance Services. “Many brokers are unable to identify risks that are not covered by their clients’ general liability policies, specifically things like cybercrime and ransomware.”
Traditionally, a hacker’s objective was to steal customer data and then sell it on or use it for illegal means. But in blocking a user’s access to their systems, ransomware is creating a whole new set of business interruption issues for SMEs. You don’t have to be an ecommerce site who handles transactions to be affected, any organization who uses the Internet or internal computer systems can have their hands tied for days.
“Whether you’re a physician who manages patient schedules or an independent contractor who loses access to your billing and invoicing information, ransomware can have a significant impact,” Barnett says. “It’s a matter of brokers being able to identify the areas of risk and then suggesting the appropriate cyber policy.”
Barnett believes that brokers should be more active in offering cyber products to their clients. “With every renewal of a business owner’s policy or general liability policy for a small business, the broker should considering adding cyber,” he says. “There are lots products on the market with varying limits. When you consider that a cyber event could put a small organization out of business, $1,500 or $2,000 for a robust cyber policy represents a good return on investment.”