5 simple steps to a cyber secure business


Authored by HSB Cyber Product Lead – Mat Prentice

2020 represented a year of immense changes for technology use. Working from home became the norm for many people and changes in buying behaviour saw businesses increasing the use of technology and e-commerce.

A report by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport found that COVID-19 and home working changed the digital infrastructure for many organisations. For example, 34% of businesses and 20% of charities now use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which presents new challenges for security, and upgrading hardware, software, and systems.

2021 figures show that 39% of small firms and 65% of medium firms experienced cyber security breaches or attacks in the last year. Around a quarter of those affected experienced them at least once a week and phishing continued to be the most common cyber security issue.  The figures also show that over three quarters of businesses and charities don’t have cyber security policies that cover home working.

With prevention being a key factor in the fight against cyber-crime, implementing simple but effective safeguarding procedures can minimise your chance of falling victim, whatever the size of your organisation.  So, what can businesses and individuals do to keep themselves cyber safe?

  1. Beware of phishing - Be suspicious of emails with urgent, fear-inducing subject lines, or updates from scammers posing as someone from your company. If you’re unsure, hover over the sender’s email address and any links within the email with your mouse to ensure it’s legit. If you’re not sure, don’t click it
  2. Beware of vishing - Be wary of anyone who asks for your log-in information, financial account, or access to your devices over the phone. Always confirm that the request is from a trusted source
  1. Back up data - This’ll mean you can access it outside of your system if you’re hit by a cyber-attack
  1. Keep software up to date - Out of date computer and phone software can expose you to cyber-attacks, so install updates as soon as possible
  1. Use passwords and multi-factor authentication - Ensure your passwords are complex and hard-to-guess by using random words, a combination of capital and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols, and change them frequently. Better yet, use a password manager and multi-factor authentication

As we enter a new world of ‘blended’ working, there’s never been a better time to think about how cyber security risks can be better managed, and what more businesses can do to stay cyber safe.


About HSB

HSB, part of Munich Re, is a leading specialist provider of engineering and technology insurance and inspection services.

Backed by over 150 years of innovation and covering a broad range of technologies and industry sectors, we help customers reduce risk through the provision of innovative construction, engineering, energy, and cyber insurance products.

Established in the U.S. in 1866, HSB’s founding principles of technical expertise and loss prevention remain at the forefront of the work we do today. Whether it’s engineering solutions for contractors, comprehensive machinery and technology insurance, innovative energy efficiency policies, or SME cyber risk covers, we have the knowledge to show customers how, working with HSB, they can stay ahead of emerging risks in a complex world.

With over 500 employees, and offices in Belfast, Birmingham, Dublin, Glasgow, London and Manchester, we provide insurance and engineering inspection services that touch almost every aspect of work and life.

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