Small businesses are not immune to cyberthreats

6 October 2017

You might think that if you run a small business, you're mostly safe from cyber crime or ransomware attacks. After all, why would a hacker bother to target you when there are bigger fish to fry?

These days, no one is safe - cyber incidents are increasing among companies of all sizes.

These days, though, no one is safe. Cyberattacks are increasing among companies of all sizes. This doesn't mean it's time for your staff to panic. It is, however, worth taking a moment to think about your company's security measures and consider your insurance needs.

 

Small businesses are vulnerable these days

If you still think cybersecurity is only a concern for larger corporations, you need to update your thinking. The latest data shows that small businesses are just as vulnerable to data breach incidents as larger ones.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recently reported on this problem, noting that because so many are unprepared for the possibility of cybercrime against their small business, an attack can be particularly devastating. This has been a more serious issue in just the last couple of years.

The ACSC reported that about 90 per cent of small organisations experienced a cyber threat or data breach in 2016 of which 58 per cent were successful. This is a sharp increase from prior years' data.

 

Knowing the risks you're up against

Once you're aware that small companies do indeed face cyberattacks, the next element to consider is how costly the cyber risks you're facing might be.  The damage can be significant if your SME is ever attacked.

Dealing with business interruption after an attack can be stressful.Dealing with business interruption after an attack can be stressful.

There can be a variety of costs that can impact a business due to a cyber attack, including:

  • IT forensic costs
  • Customer notification costs
  • Increased costs of working
  • Legal defence costs

Some customers might abandon your business if they're worried about security, and others might demand concessions from you that cost money. All this will impact the brand reputation of the company, which is difficult to recover from after an attack.

 

Getting protection against potential losses

All in all, the cyber liabilities you're facing are significant, and it's only natural to think critically about protecting your organisation against hackers. In addition, it's probably time to consider your cyber insurance options.

A new mandatory data breach reporting scheme takes effect in Australia in Feb 2018 which will require certain companies to notify customers and the Australian Privacy regulator of data breaches. As a result, not just big corporations but also mid-market and smaller companies will want to buy cyber coverage to assist in managing this new regulatory requirement. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect themselves. This is why the cyber insurance market is expected to grow dramatically.

In addition, businesses should consider how a cyber insurance policy can complement the business risk management initiatives. As part of a cyber insurance policy, insurers provide an incident response solution to assist business to recover quickly from a cyber attack.

At Emergence Insurance, we're here to protect all businesses - large and small - against the cyber risks they're facing. In fact, that’s all we do. Talk to your insurance broker about how Emergence can help develop a cyber solution for your business.