Focus on cybersecurity, warns Gauntlet

More focus on cyber security is required as the industry increasingly works from home, according to an independently commissioned research survey by bus and coach insurance specialist, Gauntlet. It also highlighted the possible vulnerabilities of Working From Home Devices (WFHDs).

Gauntlet is urging bus and coach operators who may have staff working from home to beef up their cyber security and cyber protection. Its survey found that 41% of people believe more British workforces will become victims of cyber crime, specifically because of working from home practices while social distancing measures are in place.

Some regions have more cause for concern it was found. 23% of those based in Northern Ireland and 22% of London-based employees have undergone no audit but are accessing work computer systems.

Four-in-five interviewees stated their place of work has no cyber risk policy or procedures in place in general, even before lockdown and 9% said the password to access the company wifi was common knowledge, prior to social distancing. Of those interviewed, 6% in general and 14% of those from London said they regularly take part in video conferencing but never use a password to enter the virtual meeting. Another 4% (8% in London) said they do use a password but it is the same one every time.

It was found only 55% of interviewees know what a malware link is. One third (33%) did not know what phishing is and only 22% had heard of social engineering. The lowest awareness of malware links was found in Northern Ireland (15%) and in the north east (16%). These two regions also came out at the bottom of the table for awareness of phishing, where 19% and 23% respectively know what this is, according to gauntlet’s study.

Gauntlet Bus and Coach insurance’s sales director, Andy Parkin, says: “The survey confirmed much of what we already felt would be the case in relation to cyber security in lockdown – that it is woefully inadequate and that employers have not been prepared, because in four out of five cases, they had no cyber security policy in place as their framework.

“With surprisingly high levels of non-awareness of criminal tactics such as malware links and phishing, we feel many businesses need to urgently get procedures in place but, more importantly in the short term, buy a cyber insurance policy that will step in to assist them, should the worst now occur. Cyber attacks can be hugely expensive incidents, even for small businesses, and this size of business often also lacks the IT support that can step in to try to get systems back up and running. The access to expertise, along with financial protection, which a good cyber insurance policy can provide, is worth its weight in gold for SMEs.”

Flexible working practices and Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) practices were under the microscope prior to social distancing being introduced, according to Gauntlet.

Andy added: “Our survey results are published at a time at which Europol has issued an infographic explaining how to make a home a cyber stronghold and GCHQ has stated that cyber criminals are using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to engage in more phishing and malware-related activity. Bus and coach operators, despite all the other pressures at present, should be very worried and bolster their cyber security.”

  • Cyber security assistance can be provided by Gauntlet, contactable on 0113 244 8686.

  • A Cyber & Data Insurance Guide can be downloaded here

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