One in three UK businesses is likely to experience a cyber security breach in the next 12 months – that’s the message from insurance experts at Bayliss & Cooke.

Dave Williams, said despite that stark warning, only one in ten businesses has any kind of cyber security policy in place.

“In these challenging times dealing with the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and with so many people working remotely from home, your business is even more at risk, because employees may well be using IT systems that are nowhere near as secure as your corporate system at the office.”

Dave said the startling statistics also revealed that the average cost of a cyber breach ranged from £4,200 to £22,700, and the average recovery time to untangle the mess was between three and five days.

He said studies showed too that charities are the least protected organisations, yet they are the most likely to fall victim to fraudulent emails directing them to fraudulent websites. 

“There are three main types of disruptive cyber breaches – fraudulent emails and websites; impersonating your organisation in an email or online; and an attack from viruses, spyware or malware.

“The statistics are all based on figures surveyed with people working in an office environment, where there ought to be rigorous and effective IT security measures in place – so you can only imagine the even bigger dangers created by employees working from home.”

Dave said cyber breaches could lead to serious consequences including loss of access to files and networks, corrupted or damaged software systems, and online services slowing down or taken down altogether.

“No-one could have predicted the current circumstances we all find ourselves in and these really are unprecedented times – but on the other side of all this, having a strict cyber insurance policy in place could be the difference in your business surviving or not.

“In the meantime, it’s vital your employees are cyber aware and proceed with caution to avoid your business falling victim to scams and online fraudsters – it’s more important than ever that we can all stay connected with the outside world at the moment online, but the risks are real and can’t be ignored.”