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Why you need Buildings Cover
Don’t think you need cyber insurance? Think again. Research conducted by internet security and anti-virus company, Kaspersky, shows that ransomware attacks in South Africa between January and April in 2022 doubled compared to the same period in the year before.
Important Cyber Definitions
The best place to start if you want to protect your business against the serious consequences of cyber crime is to understand the kind of risks your business could face at any moment, and how to mitigate these. Let’s start with a few common terms you’ll come across.
- Cyber crime: Any crime that is committed that relates to cyber incidents or activities
- Distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack: A type of attack that attempts to stop the targeted system or network from fulfilling its function. Even companies with extremely tight cyber security can be victims of DDOS attacks, where a server can be crippled at any time, sometimes indefinitely.
- Encryption: A method of protecting information by hiding its meaning by converting it into a code that’s difficult to decipher
- Firewall: Protection for a network or system that blocks unauthorised access
- Information security: Internal preventative measures to protect sensitive information, usually laid out in formal procedures and policies, such as crisis communications and steps to take to prevent a security breach
- Piggybacking: Gaining unauthorised access to a system or network using another person’s authorised connection
- Ransomware: A program or virus that takes control of your computer or network. Cyber attackers will demand that money (often cryptocurrency) is paid to them, typically on the condition that if the business fails to pay, the criminals will either permanently block access, delete all data on the network, or release sensitive information, such as private customer records, to the public. Essentially, it’s cyber extortion.
These are just a few of a multitude of terms to know to protect against cyber risks.
Types of Businesses at Risk
When you think about cyber crime, an image of a hoodie-wearing hacker gaining network access to a prolific business might spring to mind. But in reality, any business and every business is at risk.
Even if you have a small brick-and-mortar store, your business is still exposed to cyber risks if any part of your company uses the internet. This could be point-of-sale (POS) machines, cloud accounting, email network, or even an in-store Wi-Fi connection. Depending on the type of cyber threat, your business could lead to financial losses, reputational damage, loss of income, legal costs, intellectual property theft, and more.
Cyber Crime and its Consequences
Many cyber attacks come in the form of cyber theft, which typically involves stealing cyber information and data. This could be computer passwords, banking information, or sensitive business, employee, and customer information. There are a few ways this could happen, such as by piggybacking or through phishing, which is when a criminal misrepresents themselves and tricks people into giving out sensitive information.
Cyber liability is a common threat to businesses that occurs following an attack. If your business or an employee causes financial or reputational harm to another business or individual, your business could be sued for liability. If found guilty or negligent, it could cost millions. In such cases, cyber liability insurance could prove invaluable.
Even with world-class network security, any organisation is open to cyber crimes. In South Africa, in recent years, there have been several notable cyber attacks on prominent businesses and government departments. One worth noting was against Transnet in 2021, where the Cape Town and Durban shipping terminals were affected. This caused major disruptions to imports and resulted in backlogs that had months-long consequences.
Protection for Cyber Risks
The best way to protect your business is to have a cyber insurance policy that ensures you’re covered for a range of cyber threats. However, even with cyber insurance coverage, it’s important to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and your business. Not only can this save you a fortune, but it’s also the law if you store or process business or individual data.
You do not have to search through service providers or compare insurance companies to find the ideal cyber cover. You can get protection from cyber damage and the consequences of unforeseen cyber-related incidents today. Simply fill in the form on this page, and our system will match you with the ideal provider. And that insurer will then contact you with an obligation-free quote!