Cyber: What can we learn from the Wonga data breach?

Brokers need to educate their clients on the “daily” frequency of attacks, cyber broker says

Cyber: What can we learn from the Wonga data breach?


By Lucy Hook

Earlier this week, payday loan firm Wonga revealed that it had suffered a data breach ‘affecting up to 245,000 UK customers’ – potentially including financial information such as bank account numbers, sort codes, and the last four digits of bank card numbers.

A further 25,000 customers in Poland were also potentially affected, according to the BBC report, which also said the breach is “looking like one of the biggest” in the UK involving financial information.

Wonga’s breach is the latest in a long line of attacks on businesses that prove costly both financially and reputationally.

“The breach at Wonga is yet another example of how the face of crime is changing,”Graeme Newman, chief innovation officer at CFC, told Insurance Business. “As the theft of physical items is in steady decline, the frequency of cybercrime and data breaches are quickly increasing, with these crimes now accounting for over half the crime in the UK.”

While in the past, large corporates were widely considered the primary targets of cyber criminals, that seems to no longer be the case.
“No business is immune,” Newman commented. “In fact, 90% of our cyber claims come from companies with less than $50m in revenue.

“Incidents like this are a reminder that companies of all sizes should make cyber a standard part of the insurance they purchase.”

Henry Sanderson, broker at cyber-specialist Safeonline, told Insurance Business that such high profile data breaches raise awareness about the importance of cyber cover.

“In the UK, insurance brokers need to educate their clients and explain that businesses are suffering a security breach on a daily basis,” Sanderson said.

A cyber policy will pick up a number of first-party costs such as privacy breach expenses, electronic theft of funds, and also provide 24/7 incident response that many UK businesses do not realise is covered, he commented. With cyber cover costing “a fraction of an overall holistic cyber risk management strategy,” every business needs to protect their reputation and bottom line, Sanderson added.

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