UK and FBI issue joint alert over Russian cyber threat

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In conjunction with the FBI and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the UK based National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a stark warning about ‘malicious cyber activity’ by the Russian government.

NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin said: “Russia is our most capable hostile adversary in cyberspace so dealing with their attacks is a major priority for the National Cyber Security Centre and our US allies”.

“This is the first time that in attributing a cyber-attack to Russia the US and the UK have, at the same time, issued joint advice to industry about how to manage the risks from attacks”.

The warning adds to the already strained relationship between the UK, US and Russia following the chemical attack in Salisbury last month, the expulsion of foreign diplomats and the recent air strikes on Syria.

You might think that your business is safe from a cyber-attack but a report released by the NSCS and the National Crime Agency (NCA) suggests otherwise. In last week’s report, experts highlighted that every single UK organisation might now be a target for cyber criminals with increased threat from ransomware, weakness in supply chain and data breaches.

What does this mean for businesses?

With heightened awareness of potential attacks, the UK and US joint technical alert, and the NCA report, now may be the time to strengthen your cyber defence and insure your cyber liability.

Donald Toon, the director of the NCA’s Prosperity Command said: “UK business faces a cyber threat which is growing in scale and complexity. Organisations which don’t take cyber security extremely seriously in the next year are risking serious financial and reputational consequences”.

In addition to potential damage to your business’ reputation, a data breach could prove costly post-May 25th when the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes live.  Businesses whose customer data is exposed and who are found not to have done enough to protect it, could be fined up to 4% of annual turnover or €20million, depending on which is more.

It is estimated that 82% of small business owners feel that they are not at risk of a data breach, with 74% of them not having any form of cyber insurance at all. These figures raise concern with the new technical alert issued this week, coupled with implementation of GDPR next month.

If you’re a business owner then it is more important than ever to think about having your business protected against any potential data breaches or cyber-related events.

For more information on how data breaches need to be dealt with under GDPR or other changes which may affect your business, check out our short guide for small business owners or call 08081 68 68 68 to discuss our cyber insurance policies.

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