Why Cyber Crime Risk Protection Has Never Been More Important
Make sure your business does not become a victim of cyber crime
Cybercrime costs Australian businesses $29b each year
Written by Lisa Carter
Businesses need to understand the importance of being cyber safe. Cyber criminals are exploiting the global focus on COVID-19 and the new normal of working from home, to infiltrate networks and extort money.
Abigail Bradshaw of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) said that “small businesses can be big targets for cyber criminals”. Attacks often involve cleverly disguised emails which make unsuspecting business owners and employees open malicious files.
These scams and other cyber activity have cost Australian businesses an estimated $29 billion each year.
One reason small to medium sized businesses are under great threat is because they do not have the same sophisticated security systems and IT departments of bigger operations.
Scammers use a variety of approaches, from setting up fake online stores (selling protective gear like face masks) and stealing the victims credit card details, to taking control of a victim’s computer system and locking data until a ransom is paid. This type of extortion is becoming more targeted and costly and recovery times can be long.
Six things businesses can do to help them stay safe from different types of cybercrime:
- Awareness: Promote a 'stop and think before you click' message amongst their staff.
- Passphrases: Ensure that business owners and their staff use Passphrases rather than passwords e.g. lyrics to a song. They should be at least 12 characters long and include upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols for extra strength. Better still use two factor authentication which typically requires the user to provide a secret only the user knows (like a passphrase or PIN).
- Updating: Ensure all operating systems and application software update automatically where possible.
- Anti-virus software: Installing anti-virus software and an ad-blocking browser plugin on staff computers to help prevent malware compromising business computers.
- Backup: Keep frequent backups of all critical information and systems, ensuring that backups are stored securely off site and not connected to the network to prevent their loss due to fire, theft or malware.
- Subscribe to alerts published by: Stay Smart Online: www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service and Scam watch: www.scamwatch.gov.au/news
Other things you can do to protect your small business from cyber crime
Investigate risk protection insurance
Speak to your Insurance Adviser to consider buying cyber risk protection. Invest in a good quality cyber insurance policy to protect your data rectification costs, loss of business cash flow and third party claims resulting from the data breach.
Create a business continuity plan
Implement a disaster recovery plan for your business so you have a plan on what action to take after you have discovered a breach. Nominate a responsible person in your business to action the business continuity plan and immediately notify your insurance adviser.
In the event of an attack slipping through, it’s important for businesses to have financial security to handle and remediate the situation - which may include a ransom, data and application restoration, legal advice, data breach investigation and public relations, to name just a few. The financial impacts of cybercrime can be extensive and not always obvious.
Like COVID-19, there is no cure for cybercrime, only preventative measures and having the means to remediate the situation once if anything taken place. To speak to a broker about cyber insurance, contact us today.
About the Author
Lisa’s specialty is designing bespoke insurance and risk programs with a particular interest in complicated or hard to place accounts. She has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry as an Adviser. Clear Insurance demystifies insurance and help their clients sensibly manage business risk by delivering bespoke insurance programs and risk advice.
You can get in touch with Lisa via the Mums & Co Member Directory and get help with your business!
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General Advice Warning: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and your personal circumstances. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement. Lisa Carter, Clear Insurance AFSL: 240549, AR Number: 388083, CAR Number: 465935