TalkTalk Data Breach Highlights Need To Manage Cyber Risks

A high-profile data breach at one of the UK's biggest broadband internet providers has brought the issue of online security to the fore once more, and led to questions about how data can be compromised and what it can be used for.

TalkTalk have confirmed in a statement that a criminal investigation has been launched into a website attack that has potentially compromised names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, telephone numbers, TalkTalk account information, credit card details and/or bank details of their customers.  While the full extent of the attack is still not known, it is clear from TalkTalk's statement that this data breach could be significant.

Advice is being offered by security experts to concerned members of the public who may have been affected by the cyber attack.  Suggestions include ensuring that different passwords are used for online bank and credit card accounts to those used for other sites, and to avoid giving out personal details, either over the phone or online, that might allow a criminal to gain the necessary information to carry out further crimes related to identity theft.

The situation that has arisen is a prime example of the changing threats to business security, with a huge number of UK businesses now having a presence online and potentially processing personal information.  Wherever products or services are offered, there has always been the possibility of theft, but modern criminals now have the possibility of accessing a raft of information surreptitiously and instantly, and are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods to obtain such information.

While a larger company such as TalkTalk may be more susceptible to attack, all businesses that operate online should be aware of the potential consequences of cyber attacks and general IT system failures.  These include data breaches, damage to a business' reputation, business interruption, the threat of legal action if data is compromised, breach of intellectual property rights, and damage to third-party systems (through virus transmission), to name but a few.

Covering your business against the threat of cyber attacks is something that not all business owners - particularly smaller businesses - might have thought of.  Traditional commercial insurance policies very often do not cover a business for these types of risk; that is where cyber liability insurance comes into play.  Bollington's simple cover overview explains in simple terms what cyber liability insurance is, and how it might cover a business in the event that they encounter some of the issues mentioned above.

If you believe that your business might benefit from a review of your cyber liabilities and exposures, then contact Bollington on 01625 400206 to see how we may be able to assist you.