UK: Cybercrime Attacks: Before And After –12 Things To Think About In The Regulated Sector

Last Updated: 31 October 2018
Article by Nick Graham, Ryan Carthew, Katharine Harle and Marija Bračković


1. Policies and procedures

All businesses are at risk of cyber attacks. Having in place appropriate policies and procedures, however, helps to mitigate the risk of a cyber attack. Policies to consider putting in place include an acceptable use policy, a clean desk policy, a monitoring policy and a BYOD policy. It is also important that these policies are circulated and that regular training is offered to staff on how to avoid and spot cyber attacks. The sooner they are spotted, the easier they can be to shut down. Maintain awareness campaigns to ensure staff can identify cyber risks and follow good practice.

Risks relating to personnel are highest when they are leaving your business. To guard against this it is essential to have strict protocols in place to protect the integrity of your data, and your confidential information and trade secrets, when an employee has resigned, is being suspended or is dismissed.

2. Know your data

Ensure you know what data is stored on which systems. This likely requires an audit and data mapping exercise. You'll need to have this at your fingertips in order to deal with a breach quickly and efficiently. This should also cover data held by processors and vendors.

In addition, operators of essential services and digital service providers outside the financial services sector may be required to report certain cyber incidents to competent authorities under the Network and Information Systems Regulations 2018.

3. Incident response plan and business continuity plan

Implement an incident response plan and a business continuity plan to ensure that attacks are handled as swiftly and efficiently as possible. Ensure that all key stakeholders are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

4. Cyber insurance

Check if existing insurance would provide any cover. If not, consider investing in cyber insurance to assist with covering the financial costs of an attack and its fallout. After an attack, make sure you notify your insurer early on and get their buy-in to your response.

5. Governance and leadership

It should be clear who has overall responsibility for cybersecurity (both policies and plans and responding to incidents). In particular, responding to a breach may involve both internal personnel, such as CISO, CIO, Legal, Compliance, HR, Comms and Risk, and external agencies, such as IT forensic providers. Ensure that it is clear exactly who is in charge of coordinating their efforts.

6. Templates

Have template reporting notifications ready to deploy in the event of a breach. This would include notifications to individuals and steps they can take to protect themselves (like changing passwords/monitoring their accounts).


7. Find out what happened and identify key data

It is important to determine the nature of the breach, the data compromised and the cause. Was this a confidentiality breach (where data has been accessed by unauthorised parties) or also an availability breach (where access to data was lost) or an integrity breach (where data has been corrupted) or a combination of these? This will inform your response to the attack, in particular whether you need to notify customers, and ensure that losses are mitigated. If a written report is being prepared consideration should be given to legal professional privilege.

8. Communications

Often, the most harmful aspect of a cyber attack can be the reputational damage and loss of customer confidence that follows. This is even more so where the business is a listed company. It is therefore essential to control both internal and external communications relating to an attack. Having a clear communications strategy in place, which sets out the types of information that will be shared and with whom, will help keep reputational harm to a minimum.

9. Insider threats

Employees are often a business's biggest asset. But they can also be your biggest liability, especially when it comes to cyber attacks. Ensuring that comprehensive employee screening is carried out pre-employment and training staff on basic data security protocols (such as using alphanumeric passwords and use of encryption) can significantly reduce the risk of an attack occurring. Monitoring tools can also help identify an attack based on threat vectors. It is also important to ensure that any employees involved in a cyber attack are dealt with promptly and appropriately, and that proper investigations are carried out to determine their accountability. Disciplinary action may be required and (for firms subject to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime) this may also give rise to a need to consider (i) an individual's fitness and propriety; and (ii) whether there have been any Conduct Rules breaches, making notifications to the FCA/PRA and disclosing the matter in an individual's regulatory reference accordingly. Ensure you have a whistleblowing line in place, to ensure that employees and others can raise concerns to minimise the risk that they go directly to the regulator instead.

10. Liaising with law enforcement

It may be necessary or appropriate to liaise with law enforcement in relation to the attack. Law enforcement may wish to speak to you as victims of the attack or it may be linked to a wider investigation. Ensure that you consider the possible implications of law enforcement involvement and that you understand the nature of their requests.

11. Reporting to the Information Commissioner's Office

If the cyber attack involves personal data there may be a duty to report it to the relevant supervisory authority such as the ICO. This applies to confidentiality, integrity and availability breaches (the "CIA triad"). You need to assess the risk to individuals to determine whether there is a duty to notify the ICO and/or data subjects. Notification to the ICO is required within 72 hours and all breaches must be recorded in a breach log in any event.

12. Regulatory reporting requirements

Regulated entities will have reporting duties over and above those of other entities. Relevant considerations may include notifying the FCA (or PRA) under Principle 11 and SUP 15.3 or making a Suspicious Activity Report to the National Crime Agency. If you decide it is not necessary to make such a report you should clearly document the rationale for that decision. When making a notification this should be done with the understanding that the various bodies may well share information so it is advisable to ensure that all notifications are co-ordinated and consistent.

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Reed Smith (Worldwide)
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Reed Smith (Worldwide)
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions