What are cyber threats?
Cyber threats are a risk of doing business in our digital world. They include everything from rogue tweets made by employees that cause reputational damage, to hardware or infrastructure failure resulting in data loss, and even malicious malware and viruses that leave your digital systems crippled.
View our videos below to learn more
How they affect your business
When a cyber threat finally affects you it becomes a cyber event, bringing with it immediate and often devastating consequences. The effects will vary depending on the event you're faced with, but in all cases a cyber event can have a major impact on your business. The financial losses can be significant and for many small businesses the losses can be hard to sustain. It can take weeks to recover data or find the cause of a breach, you may lose revenue if you can't trade and have to carry the cost of losing important files or intellectual property. Your business' reputation can also be damaged, particularly if customer records are compromised, and this can have a long term impact. Below are some of the most common cyber threats that businesses are faced with today.
These are malicious attacks from third parties through methods such as hacking, ransomware, malware and viruses, phishing attacks, and drive-by-downloads. These attacks can result in fraud, extortion, or theft of your assets.See how it's affected a real business
A manufacturing firm's accountant received an email from her boss requesting her to transfer $120,000 to a supplier abroad. After processing the payment, it was discovered that cyber criminals had infiltrated their systems and grew knowledgeable enough about company dealings to send a convincing phishing email. The company lost the $120,000 and incurred costs to secure their IT system.
NZI Cyber Ultra provides cover for the loss of money caused by phishing scams and the cost to secure IT systems. Learn more here.
This is a result of equipment failure, software corruption, sabotage, and occasionally human error. If your records are lost or your IT system goes down, your business can be left unable to function. The cost of repairing damaged equipment can be substantial, especially when compounded with the losses from being unable to do business.See how it's affected a real business
A managed services provider that offers IT platform hosting, infrastructure and support services to numerous customers came under attack from malware. Unbeknownst to the company, their customer data was stolen. It cost the business over $2,100,000 to resolve the issue, including $1,200,000 incurred for data recovery and business interruption loss.
NZI Cyber Base and Cyber Ultra provide cover for the cost of the data recovery. NZI Cyber Ultra also provides cover for the loss of profits caused by the business interruption. Learn more here.
Privacy breaches are increasingly common. They involve the loss and unauthorised disclosure of personal information covered by privacy laws, as well as commercially confidential information including customer or employee details. Privacy breaches can cause legal issues and massive damage to your reputation.See how it's affected a real business
A retailer emailed a group of customers to promote a special sale but mistakenly attached a spreadsheet containing a customer list of names, addresses and credit card information. They were required to notify all affected customers of the error and offer them credit monitoring services, costing them $50,000. Several of the affected individuals began legal proceedings against the retailer. The cost to settle the legal proceedings and expenses totalled $100,000.
NZI Cyber Base and Cyber Ultra provide cover for breach of privacy under the privacy insuring clause which includes legal costs, indemnification of third parties and crisis management costs. Learn more here.
Loss of service
Your business likely relies on services outside of your control, such as an internet connection, and when these fail you can be left unable to operate normally. This can result in loss of income and potential business.See how it's affected a real business
A small accounting firm's client records were locked by ransom software. The company employed consultants to handle the $50,000 ransom payment, but their records were still not released. They then incurred costs to restore the network and lost $150,000 over business interruption, as well as being unable to recover the $50,000 ransom payment.
NZI Cyber Base and Cyber Ultra provide coverage for the payment of extortion monies and costs involved in negotiating, mediating and crisis managing to end the security threat. Learn more here.
This occurs when your business or employees electronically publish content that leaves you exposed to accusations of libel, slander, defamation, plagiarism, and infringements of copyright or privacy. This can lead to financial harm and lasting reputational damage.See how it's affected a real business
A hotel started a blog to convey information to customers and the public. The blog page contained a logo/image that was similar to a design that had been copyrighted by another entity. That entity sent a letter demanding the company remove the image. Negotiations between the parties failed and the other entity began legal proceedings against the hotel. The entity (plaintiff) demanded more than $5 million in damages. Defence costs and expenses incurred so far exceeds $1 million, and the case has not yet gone to trial, so it's expected these costs will increase.
NZI Cyber Base and Cyber Ultra provide coverage for breach of copyright under the Multimedia Insuring Clause. Learn more here.
If your e-commerce operation becomes compromised and you breach any of your legal obligations around the management of information, such as credit card numbers, you could face massive financial and legal liabilities.
Tips for protecting your business online
Protect sensitive data
Consider how many employees have access to your company's sensitive information. Minimise your risk by restricting access to only those who need it.
Secure remote access
Have a system in place to ensure security is maintained while accessing work documents from home or on the go.
Manage portable media
Introduce policies for use of devices such as USB drives, CDs and DVDs to safeguard against malware and important data being stolen.
Investigate suspicious emails
Carefully validate ad hoc and suspicious payment instructions as the sender may be a fraudster claiming to be a director, manager or vendor.
Secure web pages and software
Look for 'https://' and a padlock symbol on your browser and always review alerts before downloading new software.
Use smart passwords
Create a long password by using a phrase and replacing some letters with characters and numbers. To be truly secure your password should contain in excess of 25 alpha-numeric characters.
Update anti-virus software
Use up to date anti-virus software to prevent online attacks. Old software may not detect new malware or threats.
Develop a business continuity plan
Build cyber threats into your company's business continuity plans alongside other kinds of potential major disruptions.
Run scenario based drills to test the impact and response times to various types of breaches. This can help to identify your company's weaknesses.
Keep staff updated on the latest threats and responses you have in place to prevent a breach. Staff are your main exposure but also your best defence. The better informed they are, the better protected your company is.
Back up your data
Automate daily or weekly data backups to somewhere not permanently connected to your system, such as an external hard drive.
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