Unite and protect ourselves from digital fires

Cyber-crime is on the increase and SME businesses, including Strata Managers, are emerging as a prime target.

Businesses face new challenges as they adapt to a working from home operating model and it’s rapidly accelerated digital transformation, highlighting the issue of cybersecurity.

Cyber-crime exploits our vulnerable defences

Cyber criminals are exploiting our need to feel connected, targeting businesses large and small. From global tech giants like Microsoft to government organisations like ASIC, no one is immune. And while there’s big money to be made from large companies, hackers also target smaller businesses who may be more likely to pay.

Cyber attacks present themselves in many ways, from business emails, ransomware and cloud security to products like smart TVs, automated home assistants and personalmobile devices.

Working from home has changed the way people access corporate systems and increased the risks from disrupted employees.

Until recently, businesses could easily separate business and personal technology. But a business’ biggest vulnerability is now its staff with flexible work arrangements opening up potential malware infection, unauthorised access, data security and insecure devices.

Work From Home employees are potentially more easily fooled by cyber criminals capitalising on changed patterns of work so businesses must ensure their networks are secure to reduce the likelihood of business information being exposed.

Mitigating risk

The general advice is to assume you will be hit, with no sector or organisation size seemingly being spared.

  • Understand your risk exposure and your level of IT security.
  • Back up data and test regularly.
  • Attack on two fronts – with human experts and anti-ransomware technology. Technology provides scale and automation, but people can better detect the tactics of hackers.
  • Have layered protection to block attackers and use multi-factor authentication for remote access systems and resources.
  • Educate employees about safe cyber security practices, such as identifying hoax emails, and their awareness regularly.
  • Implement a working from home policy with physical security measures to reduce the risk of information being accessed, used, modified or removed without authorisation.
  • Develop a business continuity plan to minimise any potential disruption to your business.

Extinguishing the digital fire

“Companies must improve their knowledge of their systems. Knowledge of operations, vulnerabilities and remedies is the starting point for building resilience. It will also enable companies to communicate effectively to its customers and stakeholders and rebuild trust if they’re attacked.”

Cyber-crime is an evolving risk and there’s rapid development in this area of insurance. Cyber insurance typically covers costs associated with an incident, including investigating what happened, communicating to customers and a ransom payment.

Emergence Insurance is a Specialist Cyber Underwriting Agency and, like BCB, is part of the Steadfast Group. CEO, Troy Filipcevic, explains “Cyber Insurance should be a key consideration for all businesses regardless of how strong you perceive your existing network security to be.SMEs are more threatened because they can’t usually afford the superior security systems that larger organisations have, so if they’re attacked, they have to divert so much time, effort and resources that they risk the business going under”.

Insurers are reassessing the cyber business, as the $3 billion industry reaches an inflection point. Higher perceived risk inevitably means higher premiums, totalling $3.15 billion last year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

As insurers learn more about cyber-crime, they’re updating underwriting standards, asking businesses more questions and requiring them to take more responsibility for their own protections.

The higher the insured limits, the higher the cyber insurer requirement for resilience and strength of IT security system protocols.

But there’s no mandating for cyber insurance. While businesses automatically insure against traditional perils like fire or theft, cyber-crime is a more frequent threat and should be protected against.

BCB and others have regularly highlighted the present danger cyber crime poses and the availability of insurance protection, but Strata Managers remain slow to adopt it within their financial risk and insurance protection packages.

Partner with experts

Don’t be embarrassed about cyber crime. Pay attention to it. It’s only by uniting and sharing experiences that we can learn and develop better ways to protect ourselves.

While cyber insurance helps recover some of the financial loss, the risks constantly change as criminals develop more sophisticated ways to breach security systems. The best way to tackle cyber crime is through collaboration – businesses, insurers and industry bodies working together to continually assess the risks and get ahead of the criminals.

Having experts like BCB on your side, together with a specialist cyber protection insurer gives your business the support to both repair and recover from the financial loss. We’ll revisit your level of protection and help rebuild defences against future attacks.

To keep up-to-date with the latest in cyber-crime, look out for BCB’s webinar with Troy Filipcevic where you can listen and speak to the experts first hand.

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