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It’s official: cyber risk is rife in Australia.

According to a new report released by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the estimated annual cost to Australian business as a result of cybercrime attacks is over $1bn per year.

The report also highlights a 20% increase in cybercrime over the past year, with banking systems, energy providers and the communications sector the primary targets – and this threat is expected to continue to grow.

But it’s not just big business that is under threat. Any business of any size faces cyber risks, leaving you open to data loss, theft, extortion and reputational damage.

The onus is on all staff members of a business to play a part in minimising the risk of cyber-crime, and even if some of the below tips might seem obvious, if they were religiously adhered to across every business in Australia, it would make a significant difference.

  • Use passwords that are hard to crack! Sophisticated software can run billions of potential password combinations in a short amount of time, so your passwords should contain a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. They should also be changed regularly.
  • Don’t open emails or attachments from unknown sources. This is the number one way viruses are spread.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date. The small cost is a sound investment.
  • Regularly download security updates and patches for your operating system.
  • Make sure your business has a firewall in place, and that it is regularly tested and updated.
  • Back up your computer data regularly – ideally daily – and have a plan that all staff are aware of about what happens in the result of a data loss.

Adopting the basics is the first step in combatting cyber crime, but we think it’s essential for businesses today to conduct detailed risk assessments of the potential vulnerabilities and liabilities they face.

Having adequate cyber insurance in place should be part of your business strategy to mitigate the risk of cyber crime. At Emjay Insurance Brokers, we have a deep understanding of the cyber risks your business faces, as well as access to the leading cyber insurance policies on the market. If you need guidance, contact us today on 02 9796 0400.

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