The interconnected nature of modern business is exposing organisations of all sizes to potentially costly and damaging cyber risks.

Cyber-attacks against businesses are growing and so are the costs associated with cyber-crime.

They can cripple an organisation by disrupting IT systems, downloading data and damaging the company’s brand.

Attacks against small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have steadily increased in recent years, with more than 70% of cyber-crime attacks targeting SMEs1

For a plumbing business the fall-out from a cyber event stretches beyond poor reviews and reputational harm, to significant costs in the form of data-breach notifications, third-party liabilities and ransomware payments.

How do cyber-attacks happen?

In recent years, Australian businesses of all sizes have fallen victim to cyber-criminals who have infiltrated their IT systems and
sent ‘fake emails’ masquerading as legitimate correspondence to dupe clients into paying invoices to an alternative account.

Criminals have also used phishing emails from legitimate-looking business accounts to convince recipients to provide personal information through fake login sites, or to distribute malware, which can lock users out of their computers and networks.

Human error is also a risk for any business using internet connected devices to store client information.

There have been a number of data breaches caused by employees or contractors inadvertently storing client information in insecure environments, which has led to leaks.

Evaluating cyber protection

Cyber insurance can provide some protection, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

The type and amount of cover purchased are driven by a number of factors including an organisation’s industry, maturity of cyber-risk
management, business continuity planning and overall attitude and willingness to accept risk.

In order to ensure the best outcome in the event of a claim, businesses must understand their own risk exposures and the cover they are
purchasing. In many cases, partial cover may exist under current insurance policies, so companies need to have a clear understanding
of how the addition of a cyber policy might interact with their existing insurances to avoid any unnecessary overlaps.

Australian businesses currently face a significant risk of cyber events. This risk will continue to rise in sync with the increasingly digitised world. It is critical for organisations to proactively identify, analyse and manage cyber risk – this includes regularly reviewing the various risk transfer options available, with a serious consideration for cyber insurance solutions.

For more information, or a quotation on insuring your tools and equipment, please contact Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers on 1300 300 511.

1 2017 Cost of Cyber Crime Study – Ponemon Institute

Notice: Master Plumbers Insurance Brokers (Aust) (MPIB) is a trading name of Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238369). MPIB arranges the insurance and is not the insurer. This article contains general information, does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs and may not suit your personal circumstances. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers and before making any decision about whether to acquire the product, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantageon request. The Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia (MPMSAA) receives a financial benefit when a policy is arranged by MarshAdvantage, enabling it to continue to provide further services to the plumbing industry. LCPA18/0011.