It might be easy to dismiss cybercrime as irrelevant to your business on account of its perceived low impact – who would take the time to perpetrate a cybercrime against your small business when they could be hitting the big leagues, right?
“Cybercrime cost our economy $257 million last year and affected more than 856,000 New Zealanders.”- Communications Minister Amy Adams
In fact, small businesses have been the slowest to protect themselves against cybercrime, making them more vulnerable to the threat.
When you consider that almost all businesses have an internet presence or make use of the internet in their everyday business dealings, it becomes pretty clear that cybercrime presents a risk to even the smallest businesses.
Pretty much every business – big or small – will rely on data to some extent. Such data can include employee profiles, private corporate information, any identifying numbers (like Medicare and driver’s licence numbers), and information of a personal nature about customers, budget details and credit card information. The consequences of the security of this information being breached and made public can be wide-ranging.
So, let’s have a look at cybercrime and cyber insurance a little further so that you can make a more informed decision about whether or not it’s worth looking into for your business.
What is a cybercrime?
Basically, cybercrime is a catch-all term for any type of activity of a criminal nature that is carried out using a computer and/or the internet. It includes all of the following:
- Identity theft
- Cyber stalking
- Use of malware
- Use of viruses
- Computer and network hacking
- Online scams
- Phishing scams
- Information theft
Criminals don’t necessarily need to hack into your systems to commit cybercrime; if they manage to get their hands on a laptop, iPad or mobile phone belonging to your business (either because it has been stolen or left unattended), they have easy access to your information.
How will cybercrime affect my business?
Cybercrime can affect your business in ways that are considerably more pervasive than you might think, and that are usually not confined to a specific time period. Rather, the effects tend to be ongoing and costly.
Beyond the interruption to general business, a breach in data security that results in customers’ or employees’ personal information being made public can result in significant fines, legal fees, and costs associated with investigating the breach and notifying customers of any potential effects it may have on them.
Consider also the loss of business. Your existing customers are unlikely to continue being your customers if their personal information becomes public. Even if a cybercrime committed against your business doesn’t directly affect them, the fact a crime was able to be committed at all will leave them feeling uneasy.
A cybercrime against your business could also affect your reputation and drive away potential customers who may think twice about dealing with you, given your company’s cyber security shortcomings.
Can’t software keep my business safe from cyber attack?
Yes, there are certain things you can do to minimise the risk of a cyber attack, including all of the following:
- Reputable anti-virus programmes
- Secure data back-up
- Firewall technology
- Data encryption
- Laptop and mobile security
- Adequate social media policies.
If all of this sounds like gibberish to you, don’t feel bad. The reality is that most businesses aren’t aware of the extent to which they need to have such measures in place to protect themselves and their information, which often leaves them incredibly vulnerable to cyber criminals.
Small businesses have been the slowest to protect themselves against cybercrime, making them more vulnerable to the threat.
And, unfortunately, even if you do have all the right systems and software in place, your business is still at risk – particularly if your business involves the collection of customer information, including personal, credit card and bank details.
What does cyber insurance cover?
Although policies vary between insurers, a typical cyber insurance policy is designed to help you with both preventing breaches in the first place and dealing with them if and when they occur. Cyber insurance policies usually include the following:
- The cost of restoring or recreating electronic data following a breach or leak
- Forensic services to investigate a breach
- PR coaching in the event a breach harms your business’s reputation
- Assistance guarding against data breaches, hacking and employee error
- Guidance on how to respond to a breach
- Funds to cover the adverse financial effects related to a breach
- Funds to cover any fines that might be payable following a breach.
How do I know if I need cyber insurance for my business?
The best way to determine if cyber insurance – and the threat of cybercrime – is relevant to your business is to talk to a trusted business adviser who knows the ins and outs of your business operation.And talk to us about arranging a cyber insurance quote for your business. You may be surprised just how cost-effective cyber risk insurance is!
Talk to us about getting the best cyber insurance protection for your business.