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Cyber risk is the fastest growing exposure to small businesses in Australia. Cyber-crime now costs Australia around $1 billion per year1. Cyber criminals and hackers are increasingly targeting Australian SME businesses of all kinds, as they lack the security sophistication of large corporations and therefore are a more attractive target.

  • 25% of Australian businesses were hit by cybercrime in 2017, up from 20% in 2016. The worst impact was ranked as ‘downtime’ by 39% of businesses, and ‘time and expense spent on recovery’ by 27%2.
  • 60% of SMEs who suffered a significant cyber-attack in 2017 closed within 6 months3.
  • Ransomware activity increased by 2500% between 2016-20183. Ransomware is malicious software designed to enter a computer system when you accept a file or click an email link. It then irreversibly encrypts all files in the system, unless a ransom is paid by a deadline – usually in untraceable Bitcoin.
  • Under the Privacy Act, companies can now be fined up to $2.1m, and individuals up to $420,000, for “serious or repeated interference with privacy” following a data breach4.
  • Information Commissioner data breach notifications have increased by 612% since the Notifiable Data Breach scheme was introduced in 2018. 68% of breaches involved cyber incidents such as phishing, malware or ransomware attacks, and compromised or stolen credentials5.
  • Employee error is responsible for 33% of all data breaches.

Your Business is in Danger

Your files and records are the lifeblood of your business. If your business uses computer systems or email, it is vulnerable to cyber-attack – regardless of whether you have a website. Cyber events are incredibly costly and can leave you with the costs of ransoms to unlock your data, or IT forensic costs to repair your systems and restore data. If you hold private information on employees, customers, suppliers or other parties, you could also be liable for the costs of reporting a data breach, informing your customers, and paying damages to your customers or clients, as well as fines for breach of the Privacy Act.

A cyber-attack or data breach may cost your business more than just money. It could threaten your intellectual property, put your customers’ personal information at risk and cause crippling damage to your company’s reputation.

Cyber Insurance Protects You

Cyber insurance protects your business from financial loss due to hacking, malicious viruses, ransomware, human error and data theft. This may include the costs of:

  • Recovering or replacing your records or data
  • Lost revenue due to business interruption
  • Hiring specialist negotiators and paying ransoms to save your data
  • Crisis management and public relations consultants to manage your response to the incident and protect your company brand
  • Reporting data breaches to the Information Commissioner and affected individuals
  • Regulatory fines and costs of complying with an investigation
  • Defending legal claims by third parties whose information has been exposed
  • Liability for loss of third party data

What does Cyber insurance cost?

Premiums start from as little as $600 inc GST for $1m basic cover for a small business. Premiums depend on the size of your business, industry, and other factors.

Your account manager can confirm a Cyber insurance quote for you in as little as a few hours, with minimal additional information needed from you. A number of insurers now offer Cyber cover, and we will recommend the best policy for you, and explain exclusions, limits and excesses that apply. Please contact us today to request a quote.


1Commonwealth Government – Stay Smart Online, 2018

22017 Norton SME cyber security survey

3Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, 2017

4Organisations regulated under the Privacy Act 1988 are required to notify affected individuals and the Information Commissioner, if a data breach is likely to result in serious harm to individuals whose personal information is exposed.

5Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report, 31 Dec 2018



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