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New UK crisis response team set up to tackle cyber risks

Businesses are being targeted by criminals using highly sophisticated cyber attacks such as denial of service (DoS), botnets, worms, spear phishing and drive-by exploits. Cyber crime and data breaches cost the UK economy £27bn* and are considered one of the top emerging risks for the 21st century. According to industrial insurance specialist Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), all businesses need to review their vulnerability to a cyber attack and the financial and reputational damage it may cause.

In response to this growing cyber criminality threatening both corporate and small to medium enterprises (SME), AGCS has launched Allianz Cyber Protect to enable businesses to protect themselves against cyber criminals, data loss and the potential ramifications. Allianz is offering a comprehensive suite of three insurance products to address various first and third party liability issues that can arise from a serious cyber attack or data breach.

Key elements of Allianz Cyber Protect include:

  • A comprehensive policy offering cover up to a limit of €50m and covering a broad range of cyber exposures
  • Three levels of business interruption cover that can be tailored to the client‘s needs
  • Immediate access to a crisis response team, in partnership with global consultants KMPG Forensic, Dell SecureWorks, Incoming Thought Ltd and E-merging Technologies Group Inc

Nigel Pearson (Global Head of Fidelity), who is responsible for cyber at AGCS, said: “Recent government statistics have shown 93% of large UK companies and 87% of smaller businesses** have experienced a data breach in the past 12 months. Companies are facing attacks on a daily basis and firms, such as online retailers, where the business has critical dependency on digital networks, may not be fully aware of how a cyber attack could be fatal to their business. Many cyber criminals are now hacking into systems of SME firms as a way of ‘piggy-backing’ access to larger companies they partner with.

“Data protection legislation around the globe is changing rapidly. Within the next few years new legislation will be in place in the European Union (EU) which will significantly increase the financial burden placed on companies. Under new proposal from the EU, companies could be fined up to 2% of their turnover.”

“When a client suffers a loss as a result of a cyber attack or a loss of data, the Allianz Cyber Protect policy will provide substantial limits up to €50m. Most importantly Allianz clients have access to a panel of forensic IT experts who will work with them to manage a cyber incident.”

Elke Vagenende AGCS underwriting product developer, added:
“Reputation is an intangible asset which cannot be seen or felt, yet it is a decisive factor in a business’s future success. Irreversible damage can be done to a brand’s reputation if they do not have risk management and mitigation in place to combat a data breach. On average reputation accounts for 24% of a company’s value***. The digital age has increased vulnerability with the potential for reputational harm via social media, which can carry information across the globe instantly. This product suite covers the costs of crisis communication for the purpose of safeguarding the company's reputation.”

* Cabinet Office and National security and intelligence report: Keeping the UK safe in cyber space

**Information Security Breaches Survey 2013 published by UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

*** Brand Finance Global 500 Report 2012

Source: Press Release

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