When your computer is attacked, run for cover

David Parker

“No to increased taxes.”

That was the refrain from many during the recent election.

However, some may have noticed that the Fire Service levy paid as part of your Insurance premium has increased by 40%!

The Earthquake levy, also paid via your Home and Contents insurance, is to increase with effect from November 1, 2017.

Both these levies are indeed taxes. The increases mean that now is a good time to review your insurance cover.

The risks we face each day, from fires, accidents, criminal acts, negligence of others, through to natural disasters can all be reduced or eliminated through insurance. The new risk which looms on the horizon is that of Cyber. Nearly every business is reliant on their computer and the connection to the internet. Even a small interruption or delay often causes immense frustration.

Increasing attacks

A recent report stated that 70% of businesses were subject to cyber phishing attacks in 2016. I received an unrequited invite from ‘PayPal’ to update my details! Clearly a phishing attack.

While you and I might be alert to such events, can we say the same about our staff? Phishing is just one of the risks common in the digital and online world.

When a system holds client information (for example, Credit card numbers or personal or business information), it is open to misuse or loss. About 55% of Ransomware attacks are against the Service, Manufacturing and Retail Industries.

There are Denial of Service attacks, Identity Theft, Breach of Privacy, viruses, ransomware and cyber fraud.

The inventiveness of people behind these criminal activities is continually evolving and our defenses can never be failsafe.

Some Examples

Insurance has a vital part to play as shown in these three recent examples.

Example One: A Small Company, Design Civil Engineering, 21 Staff.

On August 16 at 1017 am, XYZ noticed a fault on their server where emails were not being delivered, affecting all PCs and employees. Their IT Company was alerted. At 1145 am, an employee noted that he was unable to access C drive and received an alert telling him that he could recover documents by paying a ransom. 55 GB (32,547 files) had been encrypted. XYZ contacted their Insurers who appointed an IT forensics expert. They worked continuously with the client’s IT provider until 1 am on August 17 to restore the server and copy and rebuild the infected PC. By 10 am, all systems were operational. Total cost of claim $19,000.

Example Two: Larger Company Retail/Financial

XYB suffered a Denial of Service attack that overloaded their website with malicious traffic, preventing customer access to real time information, ability to view and login to accounts and complete any transactions. The attack lasted a week. The client was obliged to reallocate staff and resources to manage the crisis and employ the services of specialist IT consultants and mitigation solutions. The client suffered a significant loss of revenue and incurred extra expenses. Total Cost of claim was between $500,000 and $1,000,000

Example Three; Small Company, Law Firm

A virus infection was discovered on the computers, servers and peripherals. Initial attempts to eradicate the virus by the client’s IT provider were unsuccessful. The firm’s business was interrupted for three days. The Insurer’s IT Forensics expert was engaged and within 24 hours the server was restored and the infected PC’s rebuilt. Total cost of claim including loss of Profit was $35,000.

These are actual events resulting in claims that were met under the insurances arranged for the clients. With 62 % of cyber-attacks being against small and medium sized businesses this is a risk that can no longer be ignored.

The cost of Cyber Insurance is very economic when weighed against the costs and expenses associated with an attack. Make sure Cyber Insurance forms part of your Insurance Programme.

PIC Insurance Brokers

PIC Insurance Brokers has been helping New Zealand businesses for over 25 years. We can help you find the right solutions to protect your business should the worst happen and ensure the best outcomes.

Being 100% New Zealand-owned gives us independence which is good for you because everything we do is tailored to your needs.  We are totally tuned into all the things that affect your life.  We cover all areas of insurance from life, trauma, health, business, house, contents and vehicles.

We are proud supporters of Indian Newslink. For more information about us and our services, please visit www.pic.co.nz

David Parker can be contacted on (09) 2745751. Email: davidp@pic.co.nz

PIC Insurance Brokers is the Sponsor of the ‘Best Small Business’ Category of the Tenth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards the Presentation Ceremony of which will be held at a Gala Black-Tie Cocktails, Dinner, Speeches and Entertainment Night at Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland City on Monday, November 27, 2017 from 5 pm. Tickets for the Event, priced at $150 per person and tables seating ten persons each priced at $1500 plus GST per table are now available. Please call 021-836528. Email: editor@indianewslink.co.nz 

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