A new report from the UK government has revealed that when it comes to cyber insurance for cybercrime and attacks, a staggering 98% of British firms aren’t covered. And 22% of SMEs admit they “don’t know where to start” with online security. And even something as simple as password management has them scratching their heads.

The report – available in full here – was commissioned by the UK’s own Cabinet Office, and draws attention to the chaos and damage that can result from cyber-attacks. Whether these are state-sponsored, from private enterprise or even hacktivists, these damages can include:

  • Theft of intellectual property (IP)
  • Business disruption
  • Data and software deletion / destruction
  • Direct financial loss through extortion / theft
  • Reputational loss
  • Investigation and response costs ranging from £65k ($97k) to £1.15m ($1.72m) for serious breaches

In 2014 alone, 81% of large businesses and 60% of small businesses suffered a security breach. In a separate report on World Economic Global Risks 2015, cyber-attacks ranks above even natural catastrophes and state collapse – and only marginally below weapons of mass destruction – as a major risk in terms of likelihood and impact. Here’s the graph in question for reference.

The message is clear: cyber-attacks are a real global threat to business, whatever the size of the company, be it a world-conquering conglomerate or a Start-up. And while even the most technophobe CEOs will likely be looking to clarify whether the correct cyber insurance is in place for such attacks, businesses must ensure other safeguards are put in place as well.  For example, implementing a sound password policy will considerably help shore up defenses against this escalating global risk.

To simplify this, think of your business as a car. You insure that car against risks. But that doesn’t stop you physically locking and unlocking it with a key. Your passwords ARE that key. Making these as difficult as possible to crack could spare you from ever making that call to the cyber insurance claims team.

Get started now. Check out our 5 Steps To Spring Clean Your Security post and stay tuned for more advice on how to keep your company safe. And why not tell us whether you think you’re covered for cyber insurance at @Dashlane.