The UK aims to become a global leader in cyber security insurance through a newly announced set of joint initiatives.
The initiatives are designed to help firms get to grips with cyber risk; to establish cyber risk insurance, as part of the firms' cyber tool kits, to establish London as the global centre for cyber risk management.
The plan has been published in a report by the government, working alongside Marsh, one of the UK's leading insurance brokers and risk advisors.
The report follows a meeting in November 2014 held between Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and 13 major insurance firms, to discuss ways of improving how UK businesses manage cyber security risk.
The report builds on the 10 steps to cyber security guidance on managing cyber risk and the cyber essentials scheme.
A joint working group was set up at the meeting and has produced a definitive report on the UK cyber insurance market; providing key statistics, findings, insights and key recommendations.
According to the report, 81% of large UK businesses and 60% of small companies suffered a cyber security breach in the past year.
A key initiative announced in the report is that Marsh is to launch a new cyber insurance product for SMEs, which will absorb the cost of cyber essentials certification. The government has encouraged other brokers to follow suit. The cost of certification has been identified by a number of commentators as being the biggest obstacle to SMEs.
Cyber threats are estimated to cost the UK economy billions of pounds each year, with the cost of cyber attacks nearly doubling between 2013 and 2014.
The report has revealed that while larger firms have taken some action to make themselves more cyber secure, they face an escalating threat as they become more reliant on distribution channels and as attackers grow more sophisticated.
Companies are urged to stop viewing cyber solely as an IT issue and focus on it as a key commercial risk affecting all parts of its organisation.
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