More than half of Australian small businesses are unprepared for cyber crime

Allianz Worldwide Partners launches new cyber protection services to support small businesses

Allianz Worldwide Partners (AWP) has launched an innovative cyber protection assistance service to the Australian market – and it couldn’t come quick enough. In 2016, cyber-attacks increased 300 percent within one year[1].

A survey conducted by AWP found that over half (56%) of Australian small businesses either don’t have cyber-crime protection, or assume it is covered through their business insurance; an alarming statistic considering that Australian small businesses ranked cyber risk as third on a list of key business risks, behind economic factors and cash flow.

Of those small businesses that do have security measures in place, only 20% feel that their business is ‘very well’ protected from potential harm, suggesting that many lack confidence in their current level of protection or may not be aware of the full breadth of the new cyber protection services that are available in market to adequately support them.

Even commonly used small business devices, such as desktop computers (87%[2]) can have a devastating impact on a business in the event that its system is attacked by a cyber-attack. Potential risks include loss of data, compromised financial security and in worse cases, identity theft. Whilst small businesses may feel they have an adequate level of protection, it’s only once they fall victim to an attack that they are often powerless to respond, lack the skills to address the problem and are unaware of where to turn to for support.

With the most common cyber-attacks presenting themselves in the form of ransomware, spyware, Trojan, virus and worm, it’s important that small businesses understand that their anti-virus software may only provide a certain level of protection against these forms of cyber-attacks. The new cyber protection service from Allianz Worldwide Partners provides support and system recovery for victims of a number of cyber-attacks and offer a single point of contact for small businesses to arrange computer system recovery. The service has been developed to act as a second line of defense when the commonly-used anti-virus protection software doesn’t withhold an attack on small business desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Craig Dalzell, CEO of Allianz Worldwide Partners comments, “Over 80 percent of people do not feel in control of their online security[3] and 47,000 cyber incidents took place in Australia over the course of 2016-17[4]. It is alarming to see that cybercrime is increasing, yet organisations that regularly review and test IT systems is decreasing – 73 percent in 2015 to 57 percent in 2016[5]. The need for a strong cyber security measure has never been greater.”

“At Allianz Worldwide Partners we saw this gap in the market and wanted to create a product that would give small business owners the peace of mind in knowing exactly where to turn to in the event of a cyber-attack. Our product helps put the power back in the small business owner’s hands by knowing they have a quick response recovery. Available nationwide, if the issue cannot be resolved off-site, then one of our technicians will respond in person. We encourage all small businesses to ensure they have the most up-to-date security systems across their network.”

Symptoms of a cyber-attack can include:

  • Contacts receiving emails that you didn’t send
  • High network activity when not in use
  • Re-directed to unusual websites
  • Unexpected pop-up windows
  • Low on storage for no reason
  • Computer fan running hard
  • Home page changing
  • Slow performance error messages

To help prevent a cyber-attack, small businesses should consider properly installing high-quality and up-to-date anti-virus software, practice healthy online hygiene i.e. not clicking on links that could be encrypted, and always use backup software.

For further information, please contact the support team on 07 3648 7569.

[1] Source: Perspectives on Cyber Risk, Minter Ellison, 2017

[2] Source: ADMA Aust SME’s Communications Report 2012-2013

[3] Source: Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, Symantec Corporation, 2015.

[4] Source: ACSC Threat Report 2017

[5] Source:  Perspectives on Cyber Risk, Minter Ellison, 2017

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