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Cyber insurance should become as common a purchase for UK businesses as property insurance within the next 10 years, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Speaking at the ABI’s conference on cyber insurance, Huw Evans, director general at the ABI, said:

"Cyber risk is growing rapidly. At the moment, despite more than 80 percent of large businesses suffering a cyber security breach in a 12 month period, only around 10 per cent have any form of cyber insurance.

"Online breaches can cost millions, and would threaten the viability of many businesses, so the stakes are high. Cyber insurance is an increasingly important way for businesses of all sizes to manage this threat.

"The UK insurance industry is already providing cover for cyber risk to customers around the world. More British firms are now taking advantage of this expertise and by 2025 this type of cover will be seen as an essential business purchase.”

The ABI says that the five key reasons cyber policies are becoming a business essential are:

  • Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing forms of crime in the world. It operates across international borders and attracts organised criminal gangs.
  • Cyber threats are at the cutting edge of technology. The nature of threats changes so rapidly that it’s almost impossible for individual companies to keep their defences ahead of the game.
  • Businesses are increasingly dependent on IT for their everyday activities. It is not just information being stored online, companies are increasingly operating telephone and payment systems through computer-based technologies.
  • Cyber attacks and failures can result in businesses closing or having to dramatically change what they do. The latest government survey on information breaches found that 10 percent of affected organizations had to change the nature of their business as a result.
  • The British insurance market is already able to offer businesses the innovative protection they need. The market in London is responsible for more than 10 percent of global cyber insurance business, the majority of that from the US.

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