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 to do some shopping. You use your Gmail email address and the same password as the email address. Two months later, news breaks that 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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3 steps you can take to manage cyber risk

Manage cyber risk

Internet usage continues to rise across the globe. Along with this, comes an increase in cyber-crime, which according to a report by Mcafee, is estimated to have cost the global economy USD$445 billion in 2013 . In Australia, the cost is estimated at 0.08% of GDP per year, or approximately AUD$1.28 billion. The Mcafee report attributes this partly to the fact that, ‘Cybercrime produces high returns at low risk and (relatively) low cost for the hackers.’

In addition to taking out cyber insurance, businesses can proactively mitigate the cyber risk and a cyber-attack by undertaking a range of measures including:

  • Implementing business-wide cyber-risk management
  • Seeking external specialist advice
  • Identifying the type of data that needs to be secured

Don’t just leave Cyber Risk to IT

Cyber-risk management should not only be considered the domain of the IT department. It affects the entire business and from the board down, the business needs to think about how to manage that risk and how to develop contingency plans if something does go wrong.

Seek external specialist advice
The increasing variety and sophistication of cyber-crimes mean that independent specialist external advice on securing systems is essential for businesses. It is very rare that a business will have sufficient internal resources to address this problem fully both prior to and certainly following the loss.

Identify the type of data that needs to be secure
Firms should conduct an audit of their network to ensure sensitive records have an appropriate level of security. Companies in the business of dealing with sensitive financial that hold personal information including name, address, date of birth – the very kind of data that could be the target of an attack.


Cyber Insurance

Allianz currently offers cyber insurance for the top end of the market through AGCS and we are working on the release of a cyber insurance product tailored specifically to the needs of SME customers. We expect to make it available to the market by the end of the year.
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Cyber Insurance Comparison

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Cyber Risk


Businesses must prepare for new generation of cyber risks

Prepare for a new generation of cyber risks

Businesses must prepare for a new generation of cyber risks which are fast evolving, moving beyond the established threats of data breaches, privacy issues and reputational damage to operational damage, business interruption and even potentially catastrophic losses.

In a new report – A Guide to Cyber Risk: Managing The Impact of Increasing Interconnectivity – specialist insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) examines the latest trends in cyber risk and emerging perils around the globe. Cyber risk is a major and fast-increasing threat to businesses with cyber-crime alone costing the global economy approximately $445 billion a year, with the world’s largest 10 economies accounting for half this total. In Australia, cyber risk is estimated to cost the economy 0.08% of GDP per year, or approximately $1.3 billion.

“As recently as 15 years ago, cyber-attacks were fairly rudimentary and typically the work of hacktivists, but with increasing interconnectivity, globalization and the commercialization of cyber-crime there has been an explosion in both frequency and severity of cyber-attacks,” says AGCS CEO Chris Fischer Hirs.

“Cyber insurance is no replacement for robust IT security but it creates a second line of defence to mitigate cyber incidents. AGCS is seeing increasing demand for these services, and we are committed to working with our clients to better understand and respond to growing cyber risk exposures.”

Tougher regulatory regimes and new cyber perils

Increasing awareness of cyber exposures as well as regulatory change will propel the future rapid growth of cyber insurance. With fewer than 10% of companies currently purchasing cyber-specific policies, AGCS forecasts that cyber insurance premiums will grow globally from $2 billion per annum today to over $20 billion over the next decade, a compound annual growth rate of over 20%.

“Growth in the US is already underway as data protection regulations help focus minds, while legislative developments and increasing levels of liability will see growth accelerate in the rest of the world,” says Nigel Pearson, who is globally responsible for cyber insurance at AGCS.

“In Australia, the Federal Government has stated that it will introduce a mandatory data breach notification scheme by the end of 2015 or in early 2016, which is expected to drive interest in cyber insurance. Regional AGCS CEO, Holger Schaefer, stated “we have already seen a significant increase in cyber insurance inquiries as boards of directors become more aware of their regulatory and operational exposures to cyber risk.”

Previously, attention has largely been focused on the threat of corporate data breaches and privacy concerns, but the new generation of cyber risk is more complex: future threats will come from intellectual property theft, cyber extortion and the impact of business interruption (BI) following a cyber-attack or from operational or technical failure; a risk which is often underestimated.

“Awareness of BI risks and insurance related to cyber and technology is increasing. Within the next five to 10 years BI will be seen as a key risk and a major element of the cyber insurance landscape,” says Georgi Pachov, cyber expert in AGCS’s global property underwriting team.

In the context of cyber and IT risks, BI cover can be very broad including business IT computer systems, but also extending to industrial control systems (ICS) used by energy companies or robots used in manufacturing.

Connectivity creates risk

Increasing interconnectivity of everyday devices and growing reliance on technology and real-time data at personal and corporate levels, known as the ‘Internet of Things’, creates further vulnerabilities. Some estimates suggest that a trillion devices could be connected by 2020, while it is also forecast that as many as 50 billion machines could be exchanging data daily. ICS are another area of concern as a number of these still in use today were designed before cyber security became a priority issue. An attack against an ICS could result in physical damage such as fire or explosion, as well as BI.

Catastrophic event

While there have been some very large data breaches, the prospect of a catastrophic loss is becoming more likely, but exactly what it will look like is difficult to predict. Scenarios include a successful attack on the core infrastructure of the internet, a major data breach or a network outage for a cloud service provider, while a major cyber-attack involving an energy or utility company could result in significant outage of services, physical damage or even loss of life in future.

Stand-alone cover

Allianz also predicts that the scope of cyber insurance must evolve to provide broader and deeper coverage, addressing business interruption and closing gaps between traditional coverage and cyber policies. While cyber exclusions in property and casualty policies are likely to become commonplace, standalone cyber insurance will continue to evolve as the main source of comprehensive cover. There is growing interest among the telecommunications, retail, energy, utilities and transport sectors, as well as from financial institutions.

Education – both in terms of businesses’ understanding of exposures and underwriting knowledge – must improve if insurers are to meet growing demand. In addition, as with any other emerging risk, insurers also face challenges around pricing, untested policy wordings, modelling and risk accumulation.

Responding to cyber risk

The AGCS report highlights steps companies can take to address cyber risk. Insurance can only be part of the solution, with a comprehensive risk management approach being the foundation for cyber defence.

“Once you have purchased cyber insurance it does not mean that you can ignore IT security. The technological, operational and insurance aspects of risk management go hand in hand,” explains Max Broodryk, expert for cyber at AGCS Pacific.

Cyber risk management is too complex to be the preserve of a single individual or department, so AGCS recommends a ‘think-tank’ approach to tackling risk whereby different stakeholders from across the business collaborate to share knowledge.

In this way, different perspectives can be challenged and alternative scenarios considered: for example, these might include the risks posed by corporate developments such as mergers and acquisitions or by the use of cloud-based or outsourced services. In addition, cross-company involvement is essential to identify key assets at risk and, most importantly, to develop and test robust crisis response plans.

For more information and to download the full report please go here.

Source Allianz

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