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Aviva Calls On SMEs To Increase Cyber Safety

Aviva, one of Insurance Business UK’s (IBUK) top cyber insurers for 2022, has called on small-to-medium-sized industries (SMEs) to boost their cyber security following the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) warning that the commercial world is confronting a boosting risk of cyberattacks.

The NCSC has been exhorting organizations across the UK to improve their cyber security measures in light of current viruses and hacking against Ukrainian organisations. Aviva has backed the government agency’s calls, emphasising that brokers play a key role in helping their industry customers become aware of ways to protect themselves.

“We think that brokers, as trusted advisors to their consumers’ business, have an important role to play in helping their SME customers identify and prepare against this high threat. Aviva has materials on its broker site that dealers can use to help explain cyber risks to their consumers and walks they can take to protect their business,” said Alana Muir, regional cyber underwriting administrator at Aviva.

Aviva explained that enforcing basic cyber controls may dramatically reduce the likelihood of an organisation evolving a victim of cyberattacks. As a result, it has launched a cyber guide for businesses, featuring tips on how to protect themselves from cyberattacks, including:

Ensuring any access and signals are personalised and stored securely, not relying on manufacturer settings;

Authorization up all data offline regularly – at least once a week, preferably more frequently;

Ensuring personal data is stocked safely and securely;

Installing any software or firmware updates within 14 days of release; and

Ensuring firewall and virus protection software is installed, active, and revised according to the software provider’s instructions.

Aviva also reminded small businesses relying on outsourced service providers to have a backup plan if they face cyberattacks.

“Cyberattacks tend to exploit a network’s vulnerabilities, and from there, they follow an unexpected logic, moving from one business to the next. Once it’s out, you cannot control it. For SMEs, in particular, cyberattacks can be devastating to the company’s reputation, as well as its bottom line,” Muir said.

“It’s understandable that many small businesses may not draw a link between the conflict in Ukraine and the increased cyber risk to their own business. However, as the National Cyber Security Centre has advised British businesses to improve cyber resilience following the crisis in Ukraine, we wanted to ensure brokers and their customers were aware of the increased risk and could take the necessary steps to protect themselves.”

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