Survey after survey, business executives have unanimously agreed to one thing: the risk of a cyber attack as their biggest fear. Reviewing the most recent Allianz Risk Barometer, cyber incidents and business interruption tie as the top concerns of Australian businesses, with over 40% of responses to these risks.
These results come as no surprise to cyber security experts, with cyber crimes becoming increasingly common especially since the pandemic began. At the start of Covid-19, we saw a spike in the number of ransomware attacks against businesses of all sizes. With the continuous evolution and advancement of these ransomware, they are becoming more successful in their attempts to harm organisations, costing businesses billions of dollars every year. With many of us continuing to work remotely in the endemic stage, there are no signs of cybercrimes slowing down.
According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the 2020/21 financial year saw over 67,500 cybercrime reports made via ReportCyber. In an everyday perspective, one cybercrime is reported approximately every eight minutes in Australia. That’s a staggering increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year. The average 2017 cyber claim has risen over three times the severity of previous years, with ransomware incidents making up over 30% of claims. With cyber claims on the rise, it is no surprise that insurers are tightening their belts to accommodate the high levels of risk and cost of claims. The result of this will ultimately see the cost of premiums go up as well.
What does this mean for SME business owners? As insurers are becoming more stringent with their requirements, it is increasingly difficult to get covered against cyber risks. You will need to show insurers that you are taking the necessary (and improved) steps to prevent a compromise to your IT systems. A previous mitigation plan may no longer apply as it could be insufficient to modern malware, and it will be tough to secure an insurer who will be willing to underwrite the risk. For bigger companies with an in-house IT department, preparing an updated mitigation plan may not be an issue. However, for small companies without a dedicated IT security team, this can prove to be a challenge.
Fortunately, there are steps that SMEs can take to meet the strict criteria set out by insurers. Mitigation is key when it comes to cyber security. The help of an experienced insurance broker can help bridge the gap and make it less complicated for small businesses to get covered. Remember, not all cyber policies offer the same level of protection. It can be challenging to determine the best insurance policy for your business. Engaging a broker will not only ease the application process, but they will also advise the steps you need to take to ensure your business continues running smoothly.
At East West Insurance Brokers, we know what the insurers are after. We’ll learn the ins and outs of your business and work with you to create a cyber security plan so you can get a fitting cyber insurance cover for your business. With hackers always at work and cyber attacks occurring more frequently, it’s best to act now before it is too late.
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Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.