The reality of cyber threats for Australian businesses

A new warning for Australian businesses to protect data with cyber insurance has emerged in the wake of a stream of Cybersecurity breaches.

Cyber risks can arise from first parties as well as third parties and therefore as equally likely to be unintentional as they deliberate, which means businesses should look more closely at cyber risk mitigation strategies, including protection from cyber insurance, according to research from Marsh & McLennan Companies.

Recent cyber scams to hit the spotlight across the country include fake emails from energy providers, false requests for payments from Australia post, and additional data breaches including the Red Cross Blood Service leak have drawn attention to the regularity of cybercrime in Australia.

“Australian businesses currently face a significant risk of cyber events. This risk will continue to rise in sync with the increasingly digitised world,” said the research paper.

“It is critical for organisations to proactively identify, analyse and manage cyber risk – this includes regularly reviewing the various risk transfer options available.”

The research paper showed that certain sectors across the Australian business ecosystem were more susceptible to threats than others, including financial, logistics and legal firms. The threat of cyber events would be expected to cost $20 billion over the next decade.

Cyber insurance was noted as a possible route for businesses to consider when looking to minimise risk where industry, maturity of active risk management strategies, business continuity planning, and willingness to accept risk were all factors on how personalised insurance covers could be developed.

 “Cyber events result in real and significant costs to Australian businesses in the form of data breaches notifications, third party liabilities, and ransomware,” the research paper said.

“Organisations must understand their own risk exposures and the cover they are purchasing.”


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