Cyber-attacks are on the rise in New Zealand, but many businesses are still slow to take on board the risk and adopt stronger cyber security measures.With one million New Zealanders affected by cyber crime last year, there’s never been a better time to look at cyber protection insurance for your business. Read our tips on steps to take to make sure you’re protected.
THE NASTY TRUTH ABOUT CYBER ATTACKS ON KIWI BUSINESS
As companies become increasingly driven by digital processes, and adopt new technologies– so do the number of cyber attacks. In fact Kiwi businesses are among the most vulnerable, with the highest number of attacks in the Southern Hemisphere.
While much of what we see in the headlines relate to high-profile companies cyberwarfare or large corporate DDoS hacks, many smaller instances go unreported. Small businesses in particular, are becoming lucrative targets for hackers, and the biggest risk is usually closer than you think. In fact, if you’re a small business it’s more likely one of your staff members will inadvertently put you at risk of an attack – rather than some unknown external source.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY CYBER ATTACK?
Acyber attack is defined any threat which comes through a computer or a computer network from an anonymous source where the intent is malicious. The biggest threat to watch out for is ransomware, making up more than 50% of all Cyber Insurance claims. The attack is exactly what it sounds like – a business receives a ransom demanding payment – usually to an overseas account, in return for a password to retrieve stolen data. The number of ransomware
SMALL BUSINESSES AT INCREASED RISK
Hackers love targeting small business. Why? Because we’re soft targets with lots of information and more often than not, low protection measures in place to prevent them from gaining access.
Last year, a Norton Survey found that one in five New Zealand SMB’s were targeted by attackers. Despite the increased risk, only 6% of New Zealand business owners are still yet to take out a Cyber Security Insurance policy. That’s less than half the rate of our Aussie counterparts.
The good news is that it’s neither hard nor expensive to take steps to improve the safety of your business online, stay ahead of the threat and protect it from the potential impact of a cyber attack.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS
Simple measures can mitigate a nasty risk. Poor password security, infrequent updates or back-ups, un-secured devices and low staff education and awareness are all problem areas that, with the right knowledge, can easily be addressed.
There are now many resources freely available online for business, make use of them! Check out the information available over on business.govt.nz, take a look at NetSafe‘s business blog and check out the tips from CERT, an organisation dedicated to improving cyber-security in New Zealand.
To make things even easier, I’ve also created a simple 12-point business checklist which you can download to get a head-start on some of the top ways you can improve cyber-security in your business.
WHERE TO GET STARTED
Identify the data you have which could be easily targeted. For example, customer information stored in newsletter lists or loyalty programmes.
Who else has access to these? What protection measures do you have to ensure data is kept safe currently? Also consider the cost not just of recovering from a hack or ransom, but also potential impact this might have the reputation of your business – and your own customers. You’ll soon see how important it is not to underestimate the importance of getting the right coverage.
From viruses and hackers to employee error and system damage, your business is vulnerable and exposed to a range of risks that could lead to nasty consequences. The downtime and disruption caused by loss of essential files and records, intellectual property and private customer data could result in thousands of dollars of losses.
There’s never been a more important time to start assessing your risk, and understanding what’s at stake. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be in the right place to get on board with the right protection to mitigate the threat to your business.
SHOULD YOU TAKE OUT CYBER INSURANCE?
In 2017 a Norton survey found the average reported cost of cyber attacks on New Zealand business was $19,000. The upper end of this scale resulted in the millions of dollars. You can see why even a starter Cyber Insurance Policy can provide you with the protection you need to ensure you have your bases covered. As futuristic as it sounds – policies like these have been around for at least 15 years and they’re getting more sophisticated and flexible for different kinds of business. There are a wide range of options available, with pricing that is well within reach of most small businesses.
An entry-level policy will still give you excellent coverage and access to resources such as cyber security experts to help you should a malicious situation arise. Cover may also include damages and legal costs and other first-party costs which might come about after a cyber attack. More extensive coverage will also include protection for business interruption and Public Relations costs to help you mitigate any long-term impact on your company brand or reputation.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Not as much as you think! Excellent coverage is available for as little as $290.00 plus GST per annum. While this is just a starter in terms of coverage, in this case, something is better than nothing. A small cost to pay for a nasty risk.
Before choosing a policy, talking to someone to assess your business is the best way to make sure you are getting the right coverage. So you get the coverage you need (and nothing you don’t) talk to me today and find out what your business should cover. With a full risk assessment, we can assess what you need and make the adjustments that are right for your business.
Contact Gareth today to talk about your business and work out what Cyber Insurance Coverage you need for your business.
Keeping your business safe online – Business.govt.nz Webinar
Guard your business against cyber-attacks – Business.govt.nz
Get started with cyber security – CERT NZ