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Don't underestime damage of cyber attack

Shropshire businesses must never underestimate the damage a large scale cyber attack could cause – or the time it would take to recover.

The warning comes from Dave Williams, of Henshalls Insurance Brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, who said current research had revealed some worrying signs.

“The research showed that half the companies surveyed believed they would be fully operational again within 48 hours of a large-scale attack.

“Only two per cent thought the implications of a crippling attack would affect them for more than ten days – and yet in reality, it can take months if not years before a business is fully operational again.

“In fact, for some firms, a complete recovery may never actually happen, so ignoring the risks is a real threat to your company’s future.”

Mr Williams said on average, each UK business was subject to 230,000 attempted cyber-attacks in the last year.

“This is an area of crime that businesses need to take seriously, but it’s clear that the message is not registering as more and more businesses are avoiding having to think about what actions they would take if the worst should happen.

“Businesses are just not taking the time to prepare disaster recovery and business continuity plans, and they need to change their mindset, as well as putting cyber insurance in place.”

Mr Williams said statistics had shown that failing to prepare for any difficulties in advance was a recipe for disaster.

“A study by the Federation of Small Businesses shows that 80 per cent of small firms affected by a major incident closed within 18 months, and 90 per cent of businesses that lost data from a cyber disaster were forced to shut within two years.

“We’re all accustomed to buying insurance to protect our belongings, but you may not realise the huge value of the information you are storing electronically.

“This online data is now generally worth more than the value of your physical property and the contents of your office, and the main objective of cyber insurance is to protect against the loss of such precious information.

“A disaster or crisis can strike your business at any time, whether it’s a fire, damage to stock, illness of key staff, or a cyber-attack – and a business continuity plan combined with the right insurance could be the difference between your business recovering or failing altogether.”


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