Cyber Threat – What is the vulnerability log4j?

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What is the vulnerability log4j?

Log4j is used in many forms of enterprise and open-source software, including cloud platforms, web applications and email services, meaning that there’s a wide range of software that could be at risk from attempts to exploit the vulnerability.

What we know

A member of Alibaba’s cloud security team discovered a dangerous vulnerability known as Log4Shell, which has affected the likes of iCloud, Steam and Minecraft–and poses a real threat to businesses more generally.

What is the vulnerability in log4j?

The vulnerability can be exploited by using a single line of code and allows attackers to execute remote commands on a victim’s system. It can be exploited by attackers to take control of any Java-based web server and carry out remote code execution (RCE) attacks.

Actions to take

  1. Install the latest updates immediately wherever Log4j is known to be used

This should be the first priority for all organisations using software that is known to include Log4j.

  1. Discover unknown instances of Log4j within your organisation

To support the first priority action above, you also should now determine if Log4j is installed elsewhere. Java applications can include all the dependent libraries within their installation.

  1. If you are a developer of any affected software, the ACSC advises early communication with your customers to enable them to apply mitigations and install updates where they are available.

Assistance / Where can I go for help?

The ACSC is monitoring the situation and is able to provide assistance and advice as required. Organisations that have been impacted or require assistance can contact the ACSC via 1300 CYBER1.

Could a cyber risks cause disruptions to critical business infrastructure

Cyber Risks to critical business infrastructure

When a scheduled flight of a wide-body airliner is cancelled it can cost the airline up to $43,000. So you can imagine what kind of day executives at LOT, the Polish national airline, were having last year when 20 flights were cancelled after computers that issue its flight plans were breached.

“The aviation industry’s growing reliance on data networks, and onboard computer and navigation networks, is rendering it increasingly vulnerable to cyber risks,” says Erlend Munthe-Kaas of Bloomberg Intelligence. “Airlines rely on computers for almost every aspect of operations. As a result, cyber incidents can have devastating consequences, including business interruption and loss of reputation.”

“There’s beginning to be a shift beginning to educate businesses to see the wider, deeper cyber risks picture that in many cases has gone unacknowledged.”

Think of it as cyber creep. The risks aren’t just about protecting your customer’s data, although that remains important. They are insinuating themselves into every nook of your business, creating the possibility of mass disruption to operations and critical infrastructure. As the world becomes more connected, and businesses rely more on machine-to-machine communication and automated manufacturing, the cyber risks pile up. One day, production might grind to a halt. Critical transactions might not take place. Shipments could be steered to incorrect destinations. Planes might not take off.

(more…)

Cyber Attacks Rise In Australia

Cyber Attacks Rise In Australia

Cyber Attacks on the Rise
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Over the 2020-2021 financial year, the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to expand the boundaries of Australia’s computer networks, pushing corporate systems into homes across the country as a large percentage of the workforce shifted to working remotely. 

September saw ACSC annual cyber threat report released with contributions from the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), The Department of Home Affairs and industry partners.

Cyber “actors” repeatedly took advantage of Australia’s heightened vulnerability during this time to conduct cyber espionage, steal money and sensitive data.

The ACSC received over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13 per cent from the previous financial year. The report cites cyber-attacks are occurring (on average) every 8 minutes. The average loss for per successful event has increased to more than $50,600– over one-and-a-half times higher than the previous financial year.

It’s no longer just big businesses being targeted either. Small to medium businesses; families and individuals were all targeted by criminals or actors. Malicious actors exploited the coronavirus pandemic environment by targeting Australians’ desire for digitally accessible information or services.

Emails were regularly associated with COVID-related topics, encouraging recipients to enter personal information to access COVID-related services or information. Over 1,500 cybercrime reports of malicious cyber activity related to the coronavirus pandemic (approximately 4 per day).

Australian businesses are losing significant amounts of money through Business email compromises. Business email compromise often involves cyber criminals compromising a business or personal email account and impersonating a trusted supplier or business representative to scam victims out of money or goods.

Total losses were approximately $81.45 million (AUD) for the 2020–21 financial year, an increase of nearly 15 per cent from the previous financial year. Average loss per successful Business email compromise transaction also increased, by 54 per cent – in one case, Business email compromise led to the bankruptcy of a company.

Ransomware still poses one of the most significant threats to Australian Businesses. The report details a 15% increase in ransomware cybercrime reports over the 2020-2021 financial year. Along with Fraud, online shopping scams and online banking scams were the top reported cybercrime types. The highest proportion of cybercrime reports made in the 2020–21 financial year were made from entities or individuals in Queensland and Victoria, accounting for approximately 30 per cent each.

Cyber insurance can help cover financial losses to your business, your customers and other parties following a cyber security breach. Speak to our team to find out how we can assist business owners with peace of mind and protection against cyber-attacks, such as computer hacking, ransomware and data theft.

How to protect yourself from cybercrime

How to protect yourself from cybercrime

While you’re on your phone or laptop, would you like a crash course on cybercrime and how you can be protected? If the answer is no, then you probably already have cyber insurance cover on your business or home. If yes, read on...

What is cybercrime?
Basically, it is identity theft, online scams, cyberbullying and financial fraud, committed via computers or other digital devices.


Who does it relate to?
These numbers tell the story. Maybe you are less exposed if you live in a cave, off the grid in the middle of Australia with no phone and internet. But even then, you have some details recorded on the internet like your Tax File Number, and registered address for your cave…

sourced from Emergence

Even if you take out cyber insurance, what are your responsibilities?
Don’t re-use passwords or share passwords. Make sure to use multi-factor authorisation, like when you get a verification code as an SMS. Aside from that, generally, be vigilant, ensure you’ve installed good anti-virus software on your devices and don’t open links you’re unsure of. We can all do more, but this is a good start

Small business claim example

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BACKGROUND

The Insured’s employee inadvertently misplaced a company laptop, which contained a list of 1000 client tax records and credit card details.

OUTCOME

A total cost of $250K was paid for the cost of notifying the affected individuals and the privacy commissioner of the data breach. This also included the costs incurred in retaining a Public relations firm to assist the insured in re-establishing their business reputation. 

Payment: $250,000

Cyber Crime

If you’re reading this article and you’ve never thought about protecting yourself, your family or your business against cyber offences,

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Cyber Threat – What is the vulnerability log4j?

What is the vulnerability log4j? Log4j is used in many forms of enterprise and open-source software, including cloud platforms, web applications and email services, meaning that there’s a wide range of software that could be at risk from attempts to exploit the vulnerability.

Refresh your Cyber Security habits

3 Tips for Cyber Security

Cyber security may not be the most exciting topic, but it is extremely important and it is everyone’s responsibility. There are some really basic things you can do to really increase your own security, both when doing business, as well as in your personal life.

Cyber Security

Cyber Security Tips

3 Tip for Cyber Security

Cyber security may not be the most exciting topic, but it is extremely important and it is everyone’s responsibility. There are some really basic things you can do to really increase your own security, both when doing business, as well as in your personal life.

Don’t reuse passwords

I’m sure you hear this one a lot, but a lot of times it’s not explained why!

Let’s say you sign up for the website www.reallyfancyclothes.com to do some shopping. You use your Gmail email address and the same password as the email address. Two months later, news breaks that reallyfancyclothes.com had their customer database hacked and all emails and passwords were stolen.

These hackers will use programming to test all those email/password combinations. Within a few minutes, they are in your Gmail account, because you haven’t secured it with multi-factor authentication!

Now that these hackers are in your Gmail, they are able to see what other websites you’ve signed up for. They can start either logging in using that same stolen password or doing a password reset to your email that they are logged into. Soon, all your accounts are stolen and you’re completely locked out of everything!

Always use Multi-Factor Authentication

You’ll notice in the above that I specified that the hackers were able to enter due to no Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

This is critical and is one example of why IT people use the term “defence in layers”.

Should you make the cardinal mistake of reusing passwords, you may still be saved by having MFA.

You will be familiar with this, it’s where you get a text with a one-time-use code, or you need to open an authentication app to get a short-lived code. MFA is not fool-proof, and there have been cases of people using social engineering to bypass these – but that’s why you have layers of security!


Never share passwords

Sometimes it may seem super easy and convenient to give your password to someone to log into your computer for you, but this is another cardinal sin of cybersecurity.

Once someone else knows your password, your account is no longer considered secure. You never know how that person is keeping that password (Did they write it down on a sticky note on their screen? Are they giving it to someone else to log in to?), and you can never know exactly what they will do under your login. And it’s not a stretch to imagine that someone working nearby may overhear your password, and then they can log into your account and wreak havoc!

 

David Boyes

Ausure’s Cyber Security Team Lead

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Cyber security is vital when working from home

In the wake of the pandemic outbreak, cyber insurance Emergence has released some details on how to manage cybersecurity for people working at home

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic, and the emergency has continued to escalate.

Businesses around Australia are seeking ways to protect their staff from COVID-19.

Working from home

Instructing staff to work remotely may be one way of minimising the spread of the virus. However, remote work arrangements can have security implications and cybercriminals may attempt to take advantage of that. We are already seeing COVID-19 scams being transmitted via text messages.

See Emergence’s LinkedIn for more information.

The cyber risks of flexible work arrangements could include malware infection, unauthorised access, data security, and insecure devices used by staff.

It’s important that businesses and their staff ensure remote access to business networks is secure, so they aren’t vulnerable and business information isn’t exposed.

How do I stay safe?

Ensuring good cyber security measures now is the best way to address the cyber threat.

Consider implementing these proactive strategies:

•    Review your business continuity plans and procedures
•    Ensure your systems, including virtual private networks and firewalls, are up to date with the most recent security patches
•    Implement multi-factor authentication for remote access systems and resources (including cloud services)
•    Ensure your staff and stakeholders are informed and educated in safe cyber security practices, such as identifying socially engineered emails and messages
•    Ensure your data is backed up daily and automatically
•    Increase your cyber security measures in anticipation of the higher demand on remote access technologies by your staff, and test them ahead of time
•    If you use a remote desktop solution, ensure it is secure
•    Ensure staff working from home have physical security measures in place. That minimises the risk of information being accessed, used, modified or removed from the premises without authorisation
•    Ensure your work devices, such as laptops and mobile phones, are secure
•    Ensure you are protected against Denial of Service threats.

Need more help?

The Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre has produced some excellent advice to help businesses stay secure from cyber threats while managing remote workforces. Click here for more information or go to:
www.cyber.gov.au/news/cyber-security-essential-when-preparing-covid-19.

Coverage under Emergence’s cyber policy 

The Emergence cyber policy was designed with working remotely in mind. The policy covers IT infrastructure owned, leased, rented or licensed (for example, cloud or SaaS solutions) by the insured and used in conducting the insured’s business.

That means if a cyber event emanates from a computer or laptop or other device being used by the insured’s employees at home, the policy will respond to cover the cyber event for response costs, loss of profits and any potential litigation that may arise.

 

Please note Cyberliabilitycomparison.com.au Insurance News is an information service sometimes provided by third parties Insure 247 Australia doesn’t warrants the accuracy of any information contained there in, readers should make their own enquiry’s before relying on information in the stories Terms of Service

 

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs

Cyber Criminals Using Social Engineering to Defraud Businesses

Social Engineering to Defraud Businesses

New research from US-based cybersecurity company FireEye, which analysed 1.3 billion phishing emails in Q1 2019, has found three big emerging trends.

Cybercriminals are increasingly using impersonation in phishing attacks, with the rate up 17% from Q4 2018, primarily by imitating well-known brands. Microsoft spoofs accounted for almost a third of the Q1 attacks, plus OneDrive, PayPal, Apple, and Amazon were impersonated. Cyber crims also impersonate CEOs and other senior corporate officers to request changes to bank account information.

A second trend is using HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) for malicious phishing sites, which jumped 26% in Q1 2019. HTTPS can give a false sense of security because there’s a misconception the protocol is only identified with legitimate, safe sites.

A third trend is hosting malicious files on trusted, cloud-based, file-sharing sites, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. That means links don’t look suspicious and can get through email filters.

Gerry Power, National Head of Sales at award-winning Emergence Insurance, says social engineering advice is one of the most frequent requests from brokers seeking information for their clients.

 

Cyber Criminals Using Social Engineering to Defraud Businesses

Socially engineered theft or ‘hacking the human’ is a trending exposure in Australia and globally today. Most breaches are caused by employees opening phishing emails that have already made it through existing technology defenses.

It can take hundreds of days to find out you’ve been compromised. Clicking on one phishing email can enable a criminal to infiltrate a company’s system, escalate their access and privileges, and steal the company’s crown jewels, clean out the bank accounts, or develop fake invoices.

Gerry says many people think they’re adept at spotting scams, but the task is getting harder as cybercriminals broaden their reach and methodologies.

Organisations need better training and education and heightened awareness to get a step ahead. They also need insurance as a last line of defence.

Emergence’s Criminal Financial Loss cover option has been designed to provide cyber insurance protection for financial loss, be it cash, accounts receivable or securities associated with a company’s business being hacked or a social engineering attack causing direct financial loss from an electronic funds transfer to an unintended third party.

A cyber insurance policy is part of every successful business’s risk management framework, but it’s not the first line of defence against Social Engineering to Defraud Businesses.

Cyber insurance is designed to protect a business when its IT security, policies and procedures fail to stop an attack. But no amount of risk management can get you out of the sights of a determined cyber attacker.

FireEye’s report says threat actors are “doing their homework” and developing new variants of impersonation attacks that target new contacts and departments within organisations.

 

 

Source: Emergence

 

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Please note Cyberliabilitycomparison.com.au Insurance News is an information service sometimes provided by third parties Insure 247 Australia doesn’t warrants the accuracy of any information contained there in, readers should make their own enquiry’s before relying on information in the stories Terms of Service

 

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs

 

Cyber criminals are getting smarter at using social engineering to defraud businesses

Human error bigger threat than malicious attacks – Cyber Risks

Insider threats to cyber security may be under-reported

Statistics from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) may be under-reporting the damage insider threats can cause to organisations’ cyber security.

IT expert Ahmed Khanji, CEO of Gridware Cybersecurity, told Emergence Insurance’s latest webinar for brokers that Gridware statistics suggested insider threats were a bigger risk than malicious or criminal attacks. The latest OAIC statistics found malicious attacks were responsible for 57% of notifiable data breaches (NDBs).

Gridware data showed malicious threats lagged behind insider threats. Contrary to what’s being reported to OAIC, Ahmed said Gridware found employees were the greatest threat. He urged all businesses to consider who had access to their customer lists and email contacts.

Untrained staff as the greatest cyber risk

He said a global survey found 87% of executives viewed untrained staff as the greatest cyber risk to their businesses, yet staff training was ranked high among categories to have made the least progress when measured against the US-developed, voluntary National Institute of Standards & Technology’s cyber security framework.

Ahmed said many insider threats came from “phishing” incidents where people were manipulated by emails that tricked them into disclosing or changing passwords.

Human error was responsible for 37% of NDBs

Emergence Head of Sales Gerry Power said OAIC’s latest report found human error was responsible for 37% of NDBs. “As humans, we keep finding new ways to make mistakes,” he said. “But, with sound risk management in place, many breaches can be prevented. Employees are the last line of defence, they must be educated to identify such things as dodgy emails and suspicious invoices.”

Medical data was particularly vulnerable because it sold for nine times more than financial data on the dark web.

Gerry said managing data breaches was critical to business survival. Ahmed agreed, saying reputation damage was the biggest loss. “About 85% of people won’t do business with companies that have had known data breaches. Facebook is now one of the least trusted companies in the world.”

Ahmed said organisations needed good firewalls to guard their networks; strong anti-virus software; endpoint protection for all devices; and intrusion detection and prevention systems that inspected all inbound and outbound activity and blocked suspicious activities.

“A hacker can be in your system for 200 days before being identified,” he said.

Protection methods include:

 

  • Strong passwords, long enough to prevent brute force attacks
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Not sharing passwords across multiple devices
  • Regular testing and auditing of company policies and procedures.

Emergence MD Troy Filipcevic distinguished cyber threats from social engineering, which used psychological manipulation to get people to divulge information using trickery, deception and impersonation.

He said social engineering was targeted, sophisticated fraud where trust was built and human weaknesses exploited.

Source: Emergence Insurance

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Please note Cyberliabilitycomparison.com.au Insurance News is an information service sometimes provided by third parties Insure 247 Australia doesn’t warrants the accuracy of any information contained there in, readers should make their own enquiry’s before relying on information in the stories Terms of Service

 

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs

Human error

Human Error Remains Key Cause Of Notifiable Data Breaches

Human error remains a key cause of notifiable data breaches, according to the latest quarterly report from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

While malicious or criminal attacks are still the largest source of notifiable data breaches (NDBs), accounting for 57%, human error is second with cyber incidents exploiting human vulnerabilities, for example, encouraging people to click on phishing emails or disclose passwords.

Gerry Power, Head of Sales at Cyber Insurer Emergence, said: “The continued propensity for human error to cause NDBs is a disturbing insight because it shows businesses are not educating staff enough on how to identify phishing emails or handle personal information appropriately.”

Source Emergence

Human Error and Data Breaches

Human error accounted for 37% of data breaches in the latest report. Emailing personal information to the wrong recipients was the most common human error data breach (12%). Second highest was failing to use the BCC function when sending group emails, which impacted on an average of 494 people each breach.

Gerry said the healthcare industry continued to be the worst-performing sector, recording 18% of data breaches and human error was responsible for more than half those. “That gives an insight into why some cyber insurers will not write the healthcare industry for data breaches,” he said.

The finance sector was the second-worst performing industry for the second consecutive quarter, with 14% of breaches.

The legal, accounting and management services sector was a close third. Gerry said Emergence’s claims data backed that up. “The accounting profession is a honeypot of data for cyber criminals,” he said.

Notifiable Data Breache Scheme

The NDB scheme was introduced on 22 February 2018 and, since then, OAIC has had 550 notifications, including 245 in the July-September quarter. That compares to only 114 notifications in the 12 months before the scheme’s launch.

As knowledge of the NDB scheme increases in the business community, the number of known data breaches will continue to rise.

Education is the key to reducing the human error element of NDBs.

Emergence conducts in-house education sessions, online seminars, and a social media program to educate brokers and their clients about the need for diligence and risk management to avoid data breaches and cyber attacks.

The increasing rate of notifications highlights the need for cyber insurance. Emergence’s cyber policy gives insureds 24/7 access to an Australian-based incident response team of experts who understand the importance of immediately mitigating potential threats to insureds’ businesses.

Emergence’s policy includes cover for reporting data breaches to OAIC, regulatory investigations, and costs of communicating data breaches to affected individuals.

“A cyber policy is part of every successful business’s risk management framework. Cyber insurance is not the first line of defence; it is designed to protect a business when its IT security, policies, and procedures fail to stop an attack,” Gerry said.

Organisations can reduce the potential for NDBs through risk management practices such as:
• Employee training, including strong password protection strategies and raising awareness about the importance of protecting personal information
• Restricting administration privileges
• Conducting daily backups
• Continuously patching operating systems and software
• Implementing multi-factor authentication.

Emergence is a pioneer of cyber cover in Australia and provides protection for SMEs through to ASX-listed entities.

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Please note Cyberliabilitycomparison.com.au Insurance News is an information service sometimes provided by third parties Insure 247 Australia doesn’t warrants the accuracy of any information contained there in, readers should make their own enquiry’s before relying on information in the stories Terms of Service

 

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs

Data breach notification statistics ‘frightening’ Insurer

Data breach notification statistics ‘frightening’ according to Emergence

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released its first quarterly report into notifiable data breaches, which shows 63 reported breaches since the scheme began on 22 February 2018.

That means in only its first 38 days, the scheme is averaging more than two notifications every business day.

Gerry Power, National Head of Sales for cyber insurance specialist underwriting agency Emergence, says the statistics are “frightening”.

OAIC’s figures show health service providers made the most notifications, at 15; followed by legal, accounting and management services, 10; finance, including superannuation, eight; education, six; and charities, four.

The figures are consistent with Emergence claims data that show the accounting industry is a major target for cyber theft.

Human Error a threat

Human error was responsible for 32 of the notifiable data breaches (NDB) reported; malicious or criminal attacks, 28; and two were system errors.

Gerry said the high rate of NDBs in only 38 days of the scheme’s operation highlighted the need for cyber insurance.

Emergence’s cyber policy gives insureds 24/7 access to an incident response team of experts who understand the importance of immediately mitigating potential threats to insureds’ businesses.

The Emergence solution also manages reporting data breaches to OAIC, any subsequent regulatory investigations, and costs associated with communicating data breaches to affected individuals.

A cyber insurance policy is part of every successful business’s risk management framework. Cyber insurance is not the first line of defence; it is designed to protect a business when its IT security, policies and procedures fail to stop an attack.

Emergence is a pioneer of cyber cover in Australia and provides protection for SMEs through to ASX-listed entities. It is a cyber specialist, focusing all its efforts on risk management and fine tuning its policy to provide top-level protection.

Gerry warned the NDB scheme meant companies could not keep silent on data breaches and hope for the best because notification to OAIC was now mandatory. Your clients need to understand the risks and they need protection.

Emergence’s Cyber Event Protection package gives your clients financial support and incident response expertise to recover from adverse events, including ransomware attacks, point-of-sale intrusions, denial-of-service attacks and cyber espionage.

 

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Please note Cyberliabilitycomparison.com.au Insurance News is an information service sometimes provided by third parties Insure 247 Australia doesn’t warrants the accuracy of any information contained there in, readers should make their own enquiry’s before relying on information in the stories Terms of Service

 

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation and needs