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Cyber Security: The risk for your small business

Around 60% of all cyber attacks are targeted at SME businesses, costing an average of $275,000 to unsuspecting victims.For many, more than a quarter of a million dollars in damage could be the difference between growing the business or shutting up shop for good.

The risk of cyber crime is so high that almost one in five (18%) of Australian businesses are likely to suffer a cyber attack in the next two years.

Cyber-crime is an umbrella term used to refer to an array of online criminal activity including offences against: computer data and systems, content offences, and copyright offences.

These can range from the more commonly heard of attacks such as data breaches, (where sensitive company information is stolen, such as customer details, banking and credit card information, identities and passwords) to the more aggressive violations like malware (i.e. the latest ransomware programs; where sensitive data may be disabled, or worse, deleted until the victim pays a “ransom”).

"More than a quarter of a million dollars in damage could be the difference between growing the business or shutting up shop for good."

 As soon as it seems we wise up to one scam, another seems to take its place, but there are a few steps all businesses can take to protect themselves:

  1. Use pass-phrases and not passwords - In 2015, we heard that “123456,” “password”, “12345678”, “qwerty” and “12345” are still the most popular passwords used in Australia. Instead use a phrase like: “I love my cat fluffy” and swap out some of the letters for symbols or use different spelling: “1L1keMyC@FluphY”. If you have numerous passwords to remember consider using a password manager (a program or app that can securely store your passwords, and even generate new ones.)

  2. Ensure you have anti-virus software installed and updated regularly - It is sometimes best to go with more expensive anti-virus software from well-known and reputable companies, as sometimes malware can disguise itself in dodgy anti-virus software.

  3. Have an IT policy in place - This involves letting your staff know what you consider to be acceptable usage and what is not. For example, many companies limit their employees’ ability to access the office WIFI on their own devices such as personal tablets and phones.

  4. Don’t panic if your caught by ransomware - If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack where time is of the essence, don’t reboot your computer. In some cases, this triggers the ransomware to start deleting files. The best course of action is to disconnect from the internet and call an IT professional immediately - some of the programs have fixes, but get a professional to sort it out for you.

  5. Have adequate insurance cover  - In case of the very worst, you need to ensure you are not one the business stuck with the $275,000 loss. Check your business insurance to make sure you are covered against cyber crime. If not, or you are unsure, it's best to speak with an insurance broker to find the best cyber insurance for your needs. It can be purchased as a standalone insurance product or can be added to your existing policies.

Email LEA Insurance brokers at info@leaib.com.au to find an insurance broker to guide you on your business's cyber security risks.

Content cited from needabroker.com.au

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