How-to-Guide: Protect Your Business from a Cyber Attack

Posted on May 12, 2017

Co-authored by Hayden Armstrong, Director at Armstrong's Insurance Brokers

The Increasing Need For Cyber Security

In the last 12 months, the rate of cyber attacks (particularly from ransomware) has continued to increase with some companies being attacked for the second or third time. The question for small businesses is no longer what they are going to do if they get attacked, but what they are going to do when it happens. 

Eaglecrest Technologies and Armstrong's Insurance Brokers have joined forces to provide you with this simple guide to reduce the likelihood and impact of a cyber attack on your business.

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What is the risk to your business?

Here is why you need to be concerned about cyber attacks if you aren't already:

  • Ransomware attacks increased by 167 times in 2016 – that’s an increase from 3.8 million in 2015 to 638 million in 2016!
  • The amount of money is significant for the victims and the hackers - 70% of business victims of ransomware paid to resolve the hack with more than half paying over $10,000 USD and 20% over $40,000 and cyber criminals are thought to have made over $1 billion from ransomware last year.
  • The average ransom amount is increasing – up from $295 in 2015 to $679 in 2016.
  • Small businesses (particularly in the services sector which accounts for over a third of attacks), are the best targets because they are not as prepared and don’t realise the value of their own data.
  • The big one - the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance reports that up to 60% of hacked small and medium-size businesses go out of business six months after a cyber attack.

Eaglecrest Technologies have developed a range of preventative methods to reduce the risk of a cyber attack including:

  1. Use a business-grade antivirus
  2. Update Operating Systems and key software programs regularly
  3. Limit administrative access
  4. Use unique passwords and two-factor authentication
  5. Only allow approved software programs to run on your network
  6. Train staff on recognising and responding to threats
  7. Automated backups to create an easy restoration point

In addition to this, Eaglecrest Technologies have partnered with Armstrong’s Insurance Brokers to help you reduce the cyber-security risk to your company by reducing the costs of downtime, response and rectification works, legal proceedings, fines and data loss with Cyber Insurance.

What is Cyber Insurance and why is it so important?

Fact: There are over two million private companies in Australia but less than 1% take out Cyber and Privacy Protection Insurance.

Cyber Insurance/Privacy Protection cover is becoming critically important for all businesses, large and small, as part of their risk management and insurance program. Business computer networks and data have always been targeted, and the danger is increasing as these networks become more important and hackers become more sophisticated,

But there are sensible precautions that organisations can take to minimise losses.

With the right level of preparation and specialist external assistance, it is possible to control damages and recover from the consequences of a cyber breach.

Cyber Insurance cover plays a pivotal role in protection of an organisations reputation, data, computer network, loss of business and statutory liabilities. In the event of a cyber attack or data breach, Cyber insurance can cover:

  • loss of income, 
  • increased costs of working, 
  • damage to and replacement of computer hardware, 
  • loss of reputation, and 
  • Cost of fines and penalties (including ransoms) 

Not covering your businesses cyber liability will create significant financial strain for organisations that are reliant upon their computer networks and data. 

Example 1: Real Estate Industry

Business Size: Seven staff and $10M turnover

Incident: The Insureds network was hacked over a long weekend. The Insured deployed their existing IT outsource arrangements to respond to the attack and sought to recover these expenses as well as any additional costs incurred during the aftermath, required to return the business back to normal operations.

Costs: $8,680 for the cost of restoring the network and $2,000 in additional staff hours.

Covered: Yes

Exampler 2: Medical Industry

Business: Six staff and $2M turnover

Incident: An email opened by an employee caused a virus to infect the system, including personal information of patients. The insurer’s breach response team was notified and shut down the server. Data was recovered from backup drives and new software was installed.

Costs: $17,000 in IT expenses and loss of revenue.

Covered: Yes

What does this mean for you?

Most small businesses:

  1. Don’t properly understand the value of their data
  2. Place their trust in people inadequately prepared to protect their livelihood, and 
  3. Hope they won’t get attacked. 

Facing up to the risks of a cyber attack is the best thing that your business can do to minimise the impact of an attack when, not if, it happens. Eaglecrest Technologies are specialists in helping your business protect itself from a cyber attack. For more information, contact Eaglecrest Technologies.

Armstrong's Insurance Brokers

Armstrong's Insurance Brokers are Tasmania's leading providers of Cyber and Privacy Protection Insurance.

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