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Case Study April 9, 2019

Cyber claims case study: Kitchen calamity

When a manufacturer of kitchen units suffered a ransomware attack, they lost more than they bargained for.

Compared to many other industries, manufacturing has been slower to purchase cyber cover. Because they typically don’t hold large amounts of sensitive data, and as cyber policies have until recently been seen as being focused on protecting against the risk of a data breach, manufacturers often don’t believe that they are overly exposed to cyber risk.

However, most modern organisations will utilise their computer systems to perform certain key business functions in one way or another. Should those systems become unavailable as a result of a cyber attack or a system failure, it can have a detrimental impact on the business in question and result in substantial losses being incurred. 

This is precisely what happened to this medium-sized manufacturer of kitchen units, specialising in providing bespoke pieces for the residential property sector.

The key takeaway points are:

  • Almost all modern business have some form of cyber exposure. Even though the policyholder in this instance didn’t rely on their computer systems to manufacture the kitchen units themselves, they still had sales and admin functions that played a vital role in the running of the business, and they did rely on these systems. When the ransomware struck, the fact that the sales and admin functions couldn’t access their computer systems ultimately meant that the business missed out on opportunities and lost a substantial number of orders.
  • The importance of having business interruption cover in a cyber policy is becoming increasingly clear. For many years, cyber insurance was synonymous with privacy risk, but it’s becoming more and more apparent that one of the biggest risks that businesses face is being unable to access their computer systems. Despite only being down for four days, this still resulted in the policyholder suffering a business interruption loss in excess of $100,000.

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