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Cyber security breaches have been big news over the last few years and cyber crimes are on the rise. It seems barely a day goes by where the media isn’t reporting yet another major hack somewhere in the world.

It’s all too easy to think the potential for a cyber security breach in your business is a distant threat. But it’s not. A report released by the Australian Cyber Security Centre late last year revealed there had been a 20 per cent increase in cyber crime over the previous 12 months. It’s an unsettling statistic that highlights the fact that Australia ranks as one of the most hacked countries in the world.

These days, every business uses digital technology in some form or another; it plays a significant role in how businesses operate and falling victim can have serious ramifications. Whether your business is large or small, the risk of cyber crime is not just an ‘IT issue’. It’s an issue that affects the entirety of a business – a reality that is commonly misunderstood and ignored by far too many. A cyber security breach can potentially lead to financial loss, reputational damage, loss of intellectual property, business disruption, and statutory fines and penalities.

While you can’t guarantee that your business will not be the victim of a cyber security breach, you can protect yourself. Everyone in your business can play a part in minimising the risk of cyber crime. Here are some simple tips you can share with your team that can make a significant difference to your level of risk:

  • Anti-virus software
    Install anti-virus software and always keep it up to date. While it’s an investment, the cost is small when you compare it to the potential for loss.
  • Operating systems
    Regularly download security updates and patches for your operating systems. Keeping software up to date ensures protection against the latest threats.
  • Firewall
    Have a firewall in place and make sure it’s regularly tested and updated.
  • Have protocols in place to ensure everyone is using passwords that are hard to crack. Passwords should include a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. And they should be changed regularly!
  • Email attachments
    Always be wary of email attachments from unknown or unexpected sources. When in doubt, just delete the email.
  • Back ups
    Back up your data regularly – daily if possible. This will minimise any data loss in the event of a hack.
  • Cyber insurance
    The losses from a cyber attack can be crippling for your business and cyber insurance can help to mitigate that risk.

The Australian Government has said that cyber security is one of its security priorities and launched a Cyber Security Strategy in April 2016. The government will spend $230 million on a range of measures to combat the threat of cyber crimes. If they’re prepared to spend that money, isn’t it a wise for your business to invest in protection too?

Don’t make the mistake of thinking it can’t happen to you. Having adequate cyber insurance in place should be part of your business strategy to mitigate the risk of cyber crimes. At Emjay Insurance Brokers, we have a deep understanding of the cyber crime risks your business may face and access to the leading cyber insurance policies on the market. Contact us today to discuss your needs on (02) 9796 0400.

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