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Cyber attacks continue to rise as the UK adapts to life after lockdown

It has been highly publicised that Cybercriminals are exploiting the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought, to their advantage.

We first identified this back on 9th March with our risk alert on Coronavirus scams. 

Since then, we’ve seen further threats as more and more businesses had their employees working from home, which led to us issuing advice on how to reduce the risk of a cyber or data attack in our Cybercriminals exploiting Coronavirus article.

Despite this increased awareness, and businesses working hard to reduce the risk of it happening to them, we are still seeing regular and high-profile reports of cyber-attacks, some with devastating consequences.

Taking advantage of new technology

Despite the recent revelation that the Government’s NHS track and trace app is being replaced by a new contact tracing app in conjunction with Google and Apple, in the short time it was operational, cybercriminals were quick off the mark to take advantage.

As the service was anonymous, in that you were not told who had given your details and the fact there was a lot of confusion around how it would work, it was an easy target for fraudsters.

Soon after the service launched, thousands of fake “health service” texts were sent to individuals containing phishing links. These links asked for people’s personal details and in some cases payment details to then be used fraudulently. 

By the beginning of June, Action Fraud had already received over 11,000 reports of coronavirus-related phishing emails, with £4.69 million claimed already from over 2,000 victims. 

This is just one of many coronavirus-related scams. Action Fraud continue to warn the public about the need to be vigilant with examples of yet more attacks with devasting results. More can be found on the Action Fraud website.

No business (or country) is safe

On Friday 19 June, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that their Government were being targeted by an ongoing, sophisticated state-based cyber hack.

While specific cases weren’t named, he did reveal that it had spanned Government industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure.

Further details of the report can be found on the BBC website.

The ever-growing risk of cyber attacks

These two examples are truly worrying, not only because of the devastation they have and will cause, but also because it sends a clear message that no-one, and no business is safe from the threat of cyber-attacks.

As a specialist broker, talking regularly to our clients about the market, emerging risks and areas of underinsurance, we often hear “it won’t happen to us” in relation to cybercrime. Recent activity has shown us that this sentiment is being proved wrong time and time again, for individuals and businesses of all sizes.

It is therefore so important to understand the risk you face and how you can protect against it, should the worst happen. We have created a test that takes less than 3 minutes to complete to help you understand your exposure. You can take it here.

For more advice on how to avoid a cyber-attack, see our latest guidance here. To further help and support, speak to your usual Towergate Insurance Brokers advisor or email: TIB@Towergate.co.uk

Towergate Insurance Brokers Swindon

Towergate Insurance Brokers

As one of the UK’s largest independent insurance brokers, Towergate has over 50 offices across the UK, including Swindon.

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