While the terms ‘cybercrime’ and ‘data breach’ may not have existed 25 years ago, they are now commonplace threats facing small business. In fact, in 2017 approximately 60% of Australian businesses had experienced at least one ransomware incident during the 12–month period. (IDG Communications – Australia).
Don’t become a statistic.
Stay cyber savvy by understanding the impact cybercrimes have on Australian small businesses and what you need to know to help keep your business cyber-safe.
Myth buster: I am only a small business; cyber criminals just attack the big guys!
If you use a computer, iPad, eftpos machine or in fact any digital platform to share or store information including simple emails, you are a potential target. Cyber criminals and hackers can target commercially sensitive information, your client’s information, intellectual property or banking information regardless of the size of your business.
Take a moment to consider the following:
- How valuable and secure is your data?
- How protective is your IT infrastructure?
- Do you have a response plan if a cyber-attack or data breach was to occur?
- Have you tested that plan to make sure it works?
- Are your staff trained to spot a threat?
What are the risks of cybercrime?
Just like the real world, the internet is full of risks. That’s why it is important to have some form of protection in place if you conduct any business online. These are some alarming facts about the impact of cybercrime upon small businesses in Australia:
- Believe it or not but cyber-crime costs Australian businesses $4.5 billion annually and yet it still remains one of the least insured areas for small businesses.
- In 2018, 13,600 reports were made to ACORN between April and June, (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) – 52% of these were scams or fraud.
- Australia is the 5th most targeted country for cyber–attacks globally. (Symantec Internet Security Threat Report, April 2016)
What is Cyber Liability Insurance and what does it cover?
Cyber Liability insurance can protect your business from the impact of cyber threats and data breaches. Whilst it’s important to take precautionary measures to protect your business, using firewalls and anti-virus software to prevent attacks and data breaches, Cyber Liability Insurance will help you deal with the costs and expenses associated with a data breach.
Breaches may occur after being hacked or from the theft or loss of client information. A breach can have serious consequences for your business, especially when sensitive information is no longer private and secure. Something as simple as an employee accidentally leaving a company laptop or a USB in a taxi is an example of how easily a breach can happen.
Cyber Liability insurance can provide financial protection by covering:
- Forensic investigation costs to find the issue
- Data recovery costs
- Extortion amounts that ransomware may demand
- Crisis management costs to help rescue your business reputation after a data breach
- Notification costs (as you must now report certain data breaches under the Mandatory Data Breach Notification Laws) and other legal costs
A true story: how expensive a simple piece of bad code on your website can be
A real claim scenario involved a mortgage broker who had a malicious code installed on their website. This code caused the broker’s domain to be blacklisted as their site contained malware. They were no longer able to receive emails from their clients and the broker sustained serious reputational damage as a result.
Fortunately, the insurance broker held a Cyber Liability policy and was able to claim $17,000 for IT forensic expenses and loss of earnings.
Where to go to report a scam
Even vigilant businesses that do everything to prevent a scam can still become a cybercrime victim. These are some of the important government bodies you can report an incident to:
ACCC Scamwatch website to report a crime through their online form https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is handy to find out details on current scams involving the ATO and how to verify and report an ATO impersonation scam: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/online-services/identity-security/verify-or-report-a-scam/
Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) a secure website to report or refer any cybercrime and online incidents which may be breaching the law: https://report.acorn.gov.au/
Cybercrime is a growing threat to many businesses in Australia, making it important to ensure your business is taking the right steps to safeguard it from potential attacks.