Anthony Lawton

Account Executive

Cyber insurance is designed to help companies and individuals mitigate the financial losses and liabilities associated with cyber incidents and data breaches. It provides financial protection against the various costs that can arise from cyberattacks, data breaches, and other technology-related risks.  Some of the risk factors faced by organisations include:

  1. Rising Cyber Threats: The threat landscape in Australia, as well as globally, is evolving rapidly. Cyberattacks such as data breaches, ransomware attacks, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are becoming more sophisticated and frequent. Companies are vulnerable to these threats, regardless of their size or industry.
  2. Financial Protection: Cyber incidents can lead to significant financial losses. These losses can result from business interruption, data loss, legal and regulatory penalties, and the costs of recovering from an attack. Cyber insurance helps companies mitigate these financial impacts by covering various expenses related to recovery, legal fees, and even potential lawsuits.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Australia has introduced stringent data protection regulations, including the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). Companies that handle personal data are required to notify affected individuals and regulatory authorities in the event of a data breach. Failure to comply can result in fines and legal actions. Cyber insurance can help cover the costs associated with these regulatory requirements.
  4. Reputation Management: A cyber incident can damage a company’s reputation and erode customer trust. Data breaches and cyberattacks can result in the exposure of sensitive customer information, leading to loss of confidence in the company’s ability to protect data. Cyber insurance often includes coverage for public relations efforts to manage reputation damage.
  5. Supply Chain Risk: Many companies in Australia are part of complex global supply chains. A cyber incident affecting a third-party vendor or partner could have ripple effects on other businesses in the supply chain. Cyber insurance can help companies manage the risks associated with their interconnected business relationships.
  6. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): SMEs in Australia are often targeted by cybercriminals due to the perception that they might have weaker cybersecurity measures in place. These attacks can be particularly devastating for smaller companies with limited resources. Cyber insurance can provide SMEs with a safety net to recover from cyber incidents without suffering disproportionate financial setbacks.
  7. Cybersecurity Preparedness: Many cyber insurance policies provide risk assessment and cybersecurity guidance as part of their services. This can encourage companies to adopt better cybersecurity practices, leading to improved overall resilience against cyber threats.

The cyber cover provided by insurers in Australia include:

  1. Data Breach Expenses: This includes costs associated with investigating and responding to a data breach, notifying affected individuals, providing credit monitoring services, and managing public relations efforts to mitigate reputational damage.
  2. Business Interruption: Cyber incidents can disrupt business operations, leading to financial losses. Cyber insurance can cover the revenue lost during the downtime and the costs incurred to restore normal business operations.
  3. Cyber Extortion and Ransomware: If a company falls victim to ransomware or extortion attacks, cyber insurance can cover ransom payments, as well as the costs of negotiating with cybercriminals.
  4. Privacy Liability: If personal or sensitive information is exposed in a data breach, companies can face legal actions from affected individuals. Cyber insurance can cover legal defence costs, settlements, and judgments related to privacy breaches.
  5. Regulatory Fines and Penalties: In cases where a company fails to comply with data protection regulations (such as GDPR or local privacy laws), they may face regulatory fines and penalties. Cyber insurance can help cover these financial consequences.
  6. Multimedia Liability: This coverage addresses claims related to online content, including defamation, copyright infringement, and other intellectual property issues.
  7. Third-Party Vendor Risk: If a cyber incident originates from a third-party vendor or partner, cyber insurance can cover the resulting costs and liabilities.
  8. Cyber Crime: Coverage for financial losses resulting from cybercrime activities such as social engineering, funds transfer fraud, and fraudulent use of company assets.
  9. Cyber Forensics and Legal Expenses: Cyber insurance can cover expenses related to hiring cybersecurity experts to investigate the cause of an incident and any legal costs incurred as a result of a cyber incident.

Some example of recent cyber attacks in Australia include:

  1. Australian Parliament Hack (2019): In February 2019, it was reported that the Australian Parliament’s computer network had been compromised in a cyber attack. The attackers gained unauthorized access to the email accounts of several politicians and staff members.
  2. Toll Group Ransomware Attack (2020): Toll Group, a large logistics and transportation company, experienced a ransomware attack in May 2020. The attack disrupted its operations and led to a temporary shutdown of its online systems.
  3. Services Australia Data Breach (2020): In June 2020, Services Australia (formerly known as the Department of Human Services) disclosed a data breach that exposed personal information of some welfare recipients due to a vulnerability in its online services.
  4. Cyber Espionage against Universities (Ongoing): Australian universities have been targeted by cyber espionage groups, likely state-sponsored, seeking to steal research, intellectual property, and personal data. These attacks have been ongoing over the years and have targeted research institutions.
  5. Medibank Private (2022) Medibank confirmed a data breach of their system that potentially exposed client information that may have   included customers’ names, dates of birth, phone numbers and email addresses, some Medicare card numbers, some passport numbers and health claim data (service provider name and location, where customers received certain medical services, and codes associated with diagnosis and procedures administered) some next of kin contact details for My Home Hospital patients and health provider details, including names, provider numbers and addresses.

What should you do?

Talk to one of our senior cyber managers for direction and assistance.



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