The insurance industry sees a surge in demand from businesses wanting cyber cover


Sole traders and businesses of all sizes are experiencing an increased risk of cyber-attack now that millions more people are working from home during the coronavirus lockdown. Millions of people are using computers and laptops that are not encrypted like many work computers which open up company networks to hacking and cyber-crime.

Lockdown cyber-attack case study:

Since lockdown, a company employee working from home, clicked on a link in an email that seemed to be from a client. The link downloaded a virus which enabled an attacker to take over the email account. The attacker then sent out emails to all the contacts of the employee, with a virus attached.

At least one of the suppliers of the company downloaded the virus and the virus was then sent to hundreds of email addresses.  Because emails accounts were compromised, forensics costs were incurred to check what else the attacker had done, such as had the attackers got into other employee accounts and had historic emails been accessed. A lawyer was needed to inform the regulator of the incident.

Potential exposures are allegations from companies the company inadvertently sent viruses to. If you report an incident to the regulator you will be asked whether you have conducted and documented employee cyber training.  If you haven’t the regulator will consider you to be non-compliant with one of their core principles.

Simon Lancaster, CEO of SJL-Insurance.com said: “Last July the SJL Cyber survey carried out by YouGov showed 22% of UK businesses have had a cyber-attack that has cost their business financially, so I predict that amount may now have increased unfortunately during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown with millions of extra people currently working from home. Businesses will face financial implications if they do not prepare. Monetary and time-based Investments in cyber risk management, such as awareness training for staff, regular penetration testing and Managed Detection and Response (MDR), can ensure the business is protected and has the ability to respond appropriately should an attack occur. Cyber insurance starts from as little as £75 a year with A-rated UK insurers.”


Simon Lancaster warns of:

–       Data not being encrypted or workers using their personal unencrypted laptops.

–       Criminals duping people to pay a fake invoice that appears like it really is from someone relevant to the business, by intercepting emails

–       Hackers intercepting remote servers

–       Not updating your password can increase hacking risk

–       Not locking your screen can cause problem, a child might inadvertently click on something that causes a problem

–       Not taking that extra moment to double check the emails source before clicking on an attachment – at home it is easy to get into a more relaxed and less cautious frame of mind.

–       Internet hackers are aware of our vulnerability at this unprecedented time and cyber-attacks are on the increase

–       Use of third-party video conferencing sites which may be susceptible to compromise

Specialist standalone cyber insurance covers:

  1. Business interruption cover. Meaning that their business receives loss of income payments for a period after the cyber event.
  2. Third-party suppliers. Meaning that their business is protected when the Cyber event is caused by a third-party supplier.
  3. Accidental cover. Meaning that in addition to when they are a victim of crime, they are also covered in the event of a Cyber accident by them or one of their staff (such as leaving a laptop on a train).’’

Simon Lancaster concluded: “Most businesses up and down the nation are already feeling a huge negative economic impact from the Coronavirus pandemic. Since an additional business expense or loss of data could mean the difference between a business folding or surviving, it’s so important to help businesses by ensuring that they have protection for cyber incidents which are on the rise. The UK economy needs businesses to continue trading wherever possible and a simple decision by a business to take steps to protect themselves could help achieve that’


Notes to editors:

Key findings of SJL Insurance Services survey carried out by YouGov findings in July 2019 were:

1051 senior decision-makers from businesses in Britain, ranging from sole traders to large corporations participated in the survey between 3rd – 11th June 2019.  39%of businesses who were victims of cyber-crime had cyber insurance at the time of the most recent attack, with 53% not having it at the time, and 8% of respondents didn’t know or couldn’t remember. 67% of senior decision-makers who knew their businesses history of cyber insurance, said their business have never had cyber insurance which is putting companies based in Britain at a higher level of unnecessary risk.

Press enquires:

Kerry Hopkins, communications director, Broadcast Ready [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7900 981 751 https://broadcastready.co.uk/

About SJL Insurance Services 
SJL Insurance Services was established in 2001. It is a global commercial and business insurance broker. SJL Insurance Services’s headquarters are in Worcester, and it also has offices in the City of London and Bristol. The Company is an official Lloyd’s of London broker, with clients across the UK and outside of the UK and gross premiums written at over £20 million per annum.

If you’re worried about a Lockdown cyber-attack then contact us for more information.