Organisations in the United Kingdom are faced with a constant barrage of digital dangers where cyber threats lurk around every corner. Almost half of UK organisations fall victim to cyber security breaches every year, and all are faced with the challenges of building robust defences against malicious actors and how to respond in the event of a cyber incident. 

Just over a third of organisations report being insured against cyber security risks in some way, and for most of these organisations their cyber security insurance is part of a wider insurance policy. Less than 10% of organisations overall have a specific cyber security insurance policy, with larger businesses being more likely to have specific cyber security insurance. 

Cyber security insurance provides a safety net which is designed to mitigate the financial fallout of a cyber breach, covering costs like incident response, forensic investigation, and restoration of lost data. Many cyber insurance products come with access to a network of security professionals who can assist with incident response, vulnerability assessments, and general cyber security improvements. Access to a knowledge base like this can be invaluable to smaller organisations which may not have this level of expertise in-house.  

Insuring your organisation against cyber risk can be a double-edged sword, where the existence of an insurance policy creates a moral hazard of investing less in the organisational security due to a perceived safety net provided by the insurance. 

Insurance policies are notorious for their complexity and can be full of exclusions. It is essential that organisations understand their coverage before assuming they are fully covered. Common exclusions include attacks linked to nation state actors, losses arising from critical national infrastructure outages, and losses caused by supply chain attacks. The constantly evolving nature of cyber threats can make it challenging for insurers to keep up, which could leave to coverage gaps when faced with emerging threats. 

Cyber security insurance should be seen as a single layer of a defence-in-depth approach to securing your organisation. Insurers will require you to show you take security seriously and are equipped to mitigate as many threats as possible by implementing certain security controls and best practices which can lead to a stronger security posture for your organisation. 

Staff awareness training is integral to educate your employees about cyber threats and can cover a wide range of topics including identifying phishing scams and malware traps, creating strong passwords and using multi-factor authentication, and reporting suspicious activity. 80% of data breaches in the UK involve some form of human interaction, so by training your staff to be more cyber-aware you can significantly reduce the risk of your organisation falling victim to an attack. Regular and relevant training will help to create a culture of security within your organisation. 

Incident response exercises are an essential part of an organisation’s cyber security preparedness plan, which typically involve simulations of real-world cyber-attacks that allow your team to test their skills, identify weaknesses in your defence, and refine your response procedures. 

Cyber insurance is a valuable tool, but not a substitute for proactive measures. Investing in robust security practices is crucial, and insurance should be seen as a complementary safeguard and not a defensive solution.