Why the new ‘working from home’ way of life has dramatically increased your businesses exposure to cyber risk and how you can protect your business

Business Insights

With millions of employees working from home across the UK during the Covid 19 lockdown, business owners are hard-pressed to respond to the variety of risks that even the most well-prepared organisations are facing. Whilst businesses and communities across the country come together to overcome the global pandemic, one unpleasant but sadly, not surprising outcome, has been the dramatic spike in cyber-crime.

With over 200 fraudulent websites purporting to be providing official information, but in reality, designed to steal information or infect the network of the user, shut down in the first week of the outbreak alone, many argue a ‘perfect storm’ of cyber risks is emerging.

The Cyber Risk ‘Perfect Storm’

With businesses of all sizes forced to work from home, it is no surprise that many are struggling to adapt to the requirements of remote working, understandably focusing on functionality rather than security, when it comes to their IT set-up. From insecure wi-fi connections and the use of personal devices to share and store company information, to the use of video-conferencing software and VPNs (virtual private networks), the tools designed to enable remote work only increase potential access points for cyber criminals.

For many businesses, particularly small and medium companies, these challenges have to be addressed in tandem with a workforce not used to working from home and using a range of new technology, whilst managing an unprecedented surge in remote network activity.

Such issues create challenges for firms even under normal business conditions but the global pandemic has seen cyber criminals dramatically increase the number of attacks designed to exploit existing vulnerabilities and capitalise on people’s inexperience and current concerns.

How to Keep Your Business Secure when WFH

  • Be wary of downloads, phishing emails, USB drives or anything that could introduce malicious software onto your computer and your businesses network. Phishing and spoofing attacks from hackers pretending to be IT staff asking for your credentials, apparently from clients, and general COVID 19 related emails.
  • Review your Wi-Fi router’s management software to ensure it’s running the latest firmware, to update security flaws.
  • Share best practice security tips to all employees with regular reminders about the heightened risks of working from home.
  • Connect to your company network using a secure means (e.g., a virtual private network), and store data on available encrypted network drives to avoid loss in the event of a computer virus or other malfunction.
  • Promptly install patches and updates, including to your anti-virus software, to all devices on your home network to reduce the potential for any malicious actors to disrupt your business operations.
  • Review your cyber insurance policy and ensure no exclusions for working from home.

Why should every business have cyber insurance?

“Having a cyber insurance policy is essential for all businesses and business owners in today’s online world. A cyber insurance policy should be given the same importance as buying public liability and professional indemnity insurance.

The cyber liability faced by every business is now far greater than the traditional risks to a business”.

Vincent Kenneth CEO - Cyber Covered


Business interruption

A cyber incident resulting in loss of income, and extra expenses due to the increased costs of working through an interruption can be very costly to a business.

Cost of adhering to GDPR regulations following a breach

A data breach will be demanding for any business. Costs to manage a data breach may include forensic IT expertise, PR professionals and legal expenses in addition to the costs incurred notifying customers.

Legal expenses

A cyber incident will require the involvement of a lawyer to deal with the ICO following a security breach or the liability and legal expenses from a legal suit made against you as a result.

Cost of Restoring data

This is expensive to a small business. Specialists may be required to restore any lost data or fix systems damaged by a cyber-attack.

Fraudulent transfers

We have all heard of people paying fraudulent invoices. Cybercriminals are coming up with smarter ways to trick businesses into paying or transferring funds as a result of a breach.

Cyber Extortion

Payment of extortion demands and costs incurred if you are subject to a ransom demand to restore your computer systems.


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