Think HBR

How cyber insurance could help save your business

Gallagher July 2019
Mark Bramley
Cyber attacks seemingly hit the headlines every day. Whether it’s Westpac, The Australian National University or Maersk, businesses in all industries are being targeted more than ever by online threats.
You may think that these attacks will never happen to you but, unfortunately, that isn’t the case. According to Norton, more than 500,000 small businesses fell victim to a cyber attack in 2017. A recent survey by insurance firm Chubb found that 60% of SMEs had already experienced a cyber attack, while a Verizon study found that 61% of breaches hit SMEs and 60% of those impacted are out of business within six months of an attack.
It makes sense that smaller firms are targeted. Think of how much money a large firm can spend on cyber security and compare that with your own cyber security budget. Smaller businesses offer an easier target and with technology more prevalent in all industries, the opportunities for a cyber attack have never been greater.
How can I protect my business?
It is important that you secure your business first and foremost.
Think about it in a similar way to securing your premises. You don’t leave the doors unlocked, you make sure you secure your most important machinery or documents, staff are trained in what to do in an emergency, and you have insurance as a backstop. Cyber security is similar.
Make sure you have defences in place, secure what you see as the ‘crown jewels’ of your business such as client data, train staff in what to do, and what not to do, online and have insurance to help you respond.
What is cyber insurance?
In the aftermath of a cyber incident it can be confusing to know the best ways to proceed as different businesses, industries and type or attack, require different responses.
Cyber insurance helps you get back on your feet in the aftermath of an incident. The average cost of losing one data record rose by 4.8% from US$141 to US$148, while Australia saw the average cost of a data breach rise by over 5%, according to The Ponemon Institute. With breach costs increasing, cyber insurance can cover costs related to an incident which could prove vital.
The cover can also provide access to experts who can guide you through the process of recovery. From IT specialists to public relations or legal advice, cyber insurance provides instant access to experts that can help you identify, contain and control your post-incident response.
It may just make up one important aspect of a cyber security strategy but cyber insurance could be the difference between your business surviving a cyber attack or being forced to close its doors.
To discuss cyber risk and insurance, or if you have any questions regarding your insurance coverage, contact Mark on (02) 4979 3333 or
Mark Bramley Mark Bramley
Mark Bramley is an Area Director at Gallagher and has worked in the financial services industry for more than two decades.