Get smart on cybersecurity

Cyber threats are on the rise, and businesses need to act now to be prepared for the inevitable, writes Adrian Kitchin of Resilium Insurance Broking

Get smart on cybersecurity



There's a very good reason why cyber-security has been identified as the number-one global business risk by Allianz. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly frequent – June 2020 alone saw a 120% rise in cybercrime. According to the Annual Cyber Threat Report published in November 2020 by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), a cybercrime is now reported every 10 minutes in Australia.

The continuous cyber warfare being conducted by cybercriminals around the globe costs the Australian economy billions of dollars a year, and the disruptive cyber-attacks on business and government in June 2020 were so devastating that they prompted Prime Minister Scott Morrison to formu-late a Cyber Security Strategy to deal with the issue.

Whether it’s phishing, ransomware or denial-of-use cyberattacks, cyber incidents have the ability to bring a business to its knees. The $8.7m cyberattack on Sydney hedge fund Levitas Capital forced its owners to close the doors in September 2020. The attack was part of a coordinated strike on the funds management industry. Commander Chris Goldsmid, who heads the AFP’s cyber-crime unit, said $174m had been stolen from Australian businesses since July last year through email scams.

Given the surge in cyberattacks around Australia in the last 12 months, more and more businesses are realising the devastating impact a cyber incident can have on their operations. We’ve seen a signifi cant increase in  cyber  insurance  policies  being  processed  by Resilium, and that’s because many people are starting to realise that with cybercrime on the rise, it’s got to the point that it’s no longer a  case  of  if  a  cyberattack  might  happen,  but  more a case of when.

Unfortunately,  some  business  owners  only  realise  the  value  of  cybersecurity  once  it’s  too  late  –  once  their  business  has  been held  to  virtual  ransom  and  experienced  the  disruption  of  ensuing  revenue  loss,  lost  customers, brand damage, the loss of critical data  and  ongoing  operating  costs  that  still  need to be paid.

Businesses  can  no  longer  afford  to  be  complacent  about  their  cyber  safety  and  should   consider   seeking   comprehensive   cyber  safety  solutions  from  a  reputable  IT  provider  to  put  in  place  some  protection  before  it’s  too  late.  Many  businesses  are  also  including cyber insurance as an integral part of their business risk profi le.

The  following  are  seven  key  steps  your  clients can take to help safeguard their busi-ness from a cyberattack.

  1. Consider  using  extra  security  meas-ures  like  multi-factor  ID  authentica-tion for portable devices like laptops, iPhones and iPads.
  2. Practise safe web browsing – don’t click on  things  just  because  they  look  legiti-mate. Always check the URL and whether it’s from a trusted sender.
  3. Email security is vital. Do not use your personal  email  for  work  purposes,  never   open   attachments   on   unfamiliar   emails,  don’t  click  on  any  suspicious  links  within emails, and evaluate the email itself to determine  whether  the  links  look  strange  or  there are spelling/grammatical errors.
  4. Avoid common passwords that include seasons,  city  names,  pet  names  and  family  names.  Consider  using  full  sentence  passphrases  with  numbers  or  symbols  (i.e.  WelcomeToSharePoint2018!).
  5. Lock  up  important  business  materials.  Don’t leave papers, computers or other electronic  devices  visible  in  an  empty  car  or house.
  6. Shred  sensitive  paper  records  before  disposing   of   them.   Cybercriminals   aren’t  just  operating  behind  a  computer  screen  and  will  go  through  bins  to  find  personal data.
  7. Talk  to  your  adviser  about  your  risk  profi  le and how you can be protected by cyber insurance. 

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