Australian businesses urged to seek protection following global cyber attack

The recent global cyber-attack has sent shockwaves around the world, and the impacts are being felt close to home.

More than 200,000 people in 150 countries have been affected by the unprecedented ransomware attack which occurred on Friday. The Federal Government has confirmed that several Australian businesses have fallen victim, and we’re being warned that more is yet to come.

The ransomware attack exploited a vulnerability in Windows computers, which could have been prevented and blocked by ensuring computers were up to date with security patches. Businesses are being advised to immediately update their Windows operating system, equipped with the latest security measures.

Further information on how to do so can be found on the Australian Cyber Security Centre website https://www.acsc.gov.au

Cyber Protection & how we can help

This cyber saga should serve as a wake-up call and a reminder for businesses of all sizes to boost their mitigation measures and insurance efforts as soon as possible. The attack demonstrates the need for better risk management around cyber as the ransomware could have been defeated with the appropriate protection in place.

In addition, this global cyber-attack highlights the need to have an adequate Insurance Policy in place, along with a solid working relationship with the relevant Insurer, and/or Broker. This is where our Insurance team at Crowe Horwath can help you by ensuring you take out the appropriate cyber protection cover.

Cyber Protection can cover the following: 

  1. Privacy Protection – third party claims from a failure to keep data secure
  2. Breach Costs – reimbursement of your costs when a data breach occurs
  3. Cyber Business Interruption – Compensation for lost or reduced revenue (and a simple loss calculation)
  4. Cyber Liability – third party claims as a result of content in email, on the intranet, extranet or website
  5. Hacker Damage – Reimbursement for costs to repair, replace or restore systems and data as a result of a hack
  6. Cyber Extortion – Payment of ransom demands, and specialist consultant fees, where a hacker holds, or threatens to hold your website, extranet, intranet, network, programs or data to ransom

Finally, there must be governance around security, as well as solid risk management for cyber insurance to be effective. Some businesses may not be covered as some Insurers could deny claims based on a lax or negligent risk management strategy.

Response to cyber incidents is critical. Cyber risks and incident response should form a key component of an organisation’s business continuity and disaster plan. If a business falls victim to a cyber attack, the best thing to do is to notify your Broker and/or insurance claims team as soon as possible, as forensic teams can help isolate the incident and work on a response.

For more information and to find out how we can help you and your business, please call our Brokers at Crowe Horwath Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd on 03 9258 6700.

By Terry Lingard, Executive Managing Partner – Lending & General Insurance (Australasia)