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Cyber risk in the waste, recycling and reuse industry

May 26, 2021

Investment in technology has been a constant in all industries since the Industrial Revolution. The pace of change in recent years, however, has been staggering, even in the most traditional of industries. Automation, computer/remote access, use of drones, and the internet have revolutionised the way businesses operate and are managed, and how they interact with customers. In today’s world, customers expect instant access and readily available information.

The challenges of 2020, which will continue into 2021, have turbo-charged the adoption of technology in all industries because of the need for businesses to: react to the implications of lockdowns; enable remote working where possible; engage with customers remotely; and overcome international trade challenges post-Brexit.

The rise in digital adoption has coincided with greater investment, across most industries, in automation and connected devices (internet of things), the adoption of machine learning (artificial intelligence), the growth of cloud accounting and bookkeeping software, and the introduction of Making Tax Digital. As a result, all businesses now realise just how digitally dependent they are.

In the waste, recycling and reuse industry, technology has played a critical part in improving efficiencies. It is now integral to almost all classes of heavy industry, whether that be computer-controlled plant, automated management systems, remote access, system sensors, or diagnostic reporting. There are also other connected devices and telemetry, such as dire, security/monitoring, engine control management, telematics, or simply company phones and email.

It is this dependency that threat actors and cyber criminals will look to exploit, and ransomware is increasingly targeted at more sensitive and critical data and systems.

How Cyber insurance can protect your business

Cyber insurance is a risk class often considered a ‘nice to have’, suited to professional or financial occupations – but it has become an essential protection for almost all companies in recent years, and it remains relatively inexpensive. While many business owners might question ‘who’s gong to attack me?’, the answer, unfortunately, has increasingly become ‘anyone’! As a result of the exponential growth in untargeted attacks from malicious software – such as ransomware that spreads without agenda, like an airborne virus, the massive rise in phishing emails, and the increase in sophistication of social engineering scams – any business in the UK can fall victim to a cyber loss. Click here to read our case study on how a waste operator lost £120,000 as a result of email spoofing, a common method used by fraudsters where they create email messaged with a forged sender address

Cyber insurance is not just a protection that gives indemnity for costs and awards, or even for costs to put right system damage or reinstatement of data. It will provide indemnity for any lost revenue while systems are down, and it will cover any lost revenue for a period after the event should a business lose orders or market share.

The main benefits of any Cyber insurance programme, however, is the proactive breach response that a policy delivers: access to a paid-for suite of experts to guide your business through the immediate aftermath and recovery from a cyber event, a panel of expert advisers – including legal counsel, forensic IT support, PR and communications and ongoing credit monitoring.

We are here to help

Cyber insurance can offer protection to waste, recycling and reuse businesses’ sensitive and critical data and systems, which are increasingly being targeted by ransomware attacks.

With over 30 years of experience in arranging specialist insurance programmes for businesses operating in the waste, recycling and reuse sector, we are well versed in the digital risks these businesses are exposed to and are well placed to support and protect your business.

To learn more about this vital cover, please view our Cyber insurance page. We also have lots of useful Cyber news and articles on in our knowledge centre.

Get in touch with our dedicated experts for an introductory discussion today:


020 7977 4800

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