Debunking Cyber Myths

Despite recent, ongoing headlines of cyber attacks, many small business owners continue to hold misconceptions about cyber risk, and whether it applies to them. The reality is, in the present environment, cyber risk can apply to any businesses with a digital footprint, regardless of size or industry. Let’s unpack some of the myths associated with cyber risk, and why they are in fact, myths.

Myth 1: “I am not a large business, so cyber risk isn’t a threat for me.”

While there was a time when hackers and cyber criminals would only set their sights on larger corporations, many small to medium size businesses (SMBs) underestimate risk and impact of a cyber incident, with 97% of sole trades adopting a do it yourself (DIY) approach to managing cyber risks.1

According to the ACSC Cyber Security and Australian Small Business Report1:

  • 62% of small businesses experience a cyber incident
  • 1 in 5 SMBs did not know the term “phishing”, a type of dodgy email designed to trick recipients out of money and data

This also shows the lack of awareness among small business owners about cyber risk and the seriousness of the threat, making small business owners a ripe target for cyber criminals – who are often looking for quick wins and easy targets.

Myth 2: “I have solid cybersecurity infrastructure, that’s enough, right?”

Cybersecurity infrastructure may not be enough, and businesses should also consider firewalls, a quality IT team and antivirus protection. As cyber security technology gets more and more advanced, cyber criminals’ also continue to perfect their art and become more sophisticated. That’s why we still hear of large corporations with very sophisticated cyber security systems falling prey to cyber attacks. Depending on your particular business, an effective cyber risk management program should cover all aspects of your business’s operations, including staff training & awareness, and adequate insurance cover.

Myth 3: But I don’t have anything/any data worth hacking…

It might seem like you don’t have any significant data worth hacking, but chances are, even if you hold basic information about your clients, this type of information could be enough of a lure for cyber criminals, as it provides them with an avenue for identity theft. Plus, imagine the interruption to your business’s operations if you did find your systems were infected with malware? The interruption would not only cost you financially, but the long term implications of the reputational damage could also be very difficult to repair.

Myth 4: “I outsource to a Cloud provider, so I don’t need to worry about cyber risk…”

While using a cloud-based application or outsourcing to a provider may be wise, it does not make your systems immune to unfortunate cyber incidents. Cyber crime goes beyond hacking of your virtual networks – even using a computer in the office means that the device itself may be hacked. Furthermore, your data being stored in the cloud does not completely secure it from unauthorised access, use, theft, deletion or cyber extortion.

Myth 5: “I already have so many insurance policies, surely one of them will provide cover for cyber attacks in some way?”

There was a time when cover for losses relating to cyber attacks was included in some traditional insurance policies, however this type of cover is being phased out, and stand alone cyber insurance has become a cover more and more businesses may need to consider.

It is important for residential construction businesses to consider how they are mitigating cyber risks. A HIA Insurance Services specialist can help you to understand the risks commonly found in your industry and what options you have to help protect your business.

Residential construction businesses are not immune to the threat of cyber crime, and therefore should consider how they are mitigating these risks. Any digital footprint can make a business susceptible to the risk of cyber crime. A HIA Insurance Services specialist can help you to understand the risks commonly found in your industry and what options you have to help protect your business.

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1ACSC Cyber Security and Australian Small Business Report

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