Cyber-attacks are on the increase, yet it is a common misconception that these attacks are covered under a standard business insurance package.  This is not the case; these attacks can result in the loss of income, damage to reputation and the costs can be significant.

KP snacks have been the latest high profile company that have been hit with a cyberattack. In a statement, KP Snacks said: “On Friday, 28 January, we became aware that we were unfortunately victims of a ransomware incident. As soon as we became aware of the incident, we enacted our cyber-security response plan and engaged a leading forensic information technology firm and legal counsel to assist us in our investigation.

We have been continuing to keep our colleagues, customers, and suppliers informed of any developments and apologise for any disruption this may have caused.”

In these types of cases, hackers will gain entry to a computer network, steal data, and then copy the victim’s sensitive documents. In return for deleting and decrypting these files, hackers demand a sum of money, which often comes at a very hefty price point.

Last June, the largest meat processing company in the world, JBS, suffered a ransomware attack which caused disruption to meat supply lines in several countries. To resolve the situation, the company forked out the equivalent of $11m (£7.8m) in ransoms to the criminals who hacked them.

You may think that cyber crime is only relevant to large organisations but SME businesses and individuals are being targeted on a more regular and frequent basis, with just as devastating conclusions for a SME and an individual as the aforementioned larger organisations, especially as SMEs and individuals lack the IT protection clout of a large organisation.