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The Rise of Cybercrimes on Australian Small and Medium Businesses

16 September 2021

Current cybercrime landscape

Cyber-attacks on Australian businesses are rapidly increasing in frequency and sophistication. In fact, a study by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) found that, on average, a cybercrime is being reported in Australia every 10 minutes.

Cyber-attacks are considered one of the greatest risks to small and medium businesses (SMEs) as they can significantly impact business operations. Many hackers view SMEs as an attractive target due to them having a perceived lack of resources to defend against attacks. 

Supply chain attacks also continue to be an area of concern due to the extensive range of victims that can be reached through targeting a single service provider.

Ransomware, in particular, has become extremely harmful to businesses, contributing to 81% of financially motivated eCrimes globally. It’s a common myth that only large companies are impacted by ransomware, as a report conducted by Beazley in the United Kingdom found, 62% of the ransomware attacks in 2020 were on SMEs.

This form of cyber-attack can cripple IT systems, websites, customer data and payment systems. Therefore, it’s no surprise that there has been a 60% increase in average ransom payments globally, as businesses feel they have no choice but to agree to the demands of threat actors.

What is the average cost of a cyber-attack to an SME?

A 2021 survey completed by Hiscox, found that the average cost of a cyber-attack to US small businesses in the last 12 months was $25,612 USD. This is a significant amount of money for SMEs operating in a similar market landscape to Australia and correlates with Australian produced insights that found over 60% of SMEs don’t survive a cyber-attack or data breach.

According to Sophos, the average ransom paid by companies globally is  $170,404 USD. However, if a business experiences a ransomware attack the potential costs extend beyond the price of simply paying a ransom.

Why is Cyber Insurance important?

Cybercriminals remain relentless and opportunistic in their approach to discover exploitive vulnerabilities in an organisation’s infrastructure. Also, as highlighted, these cyber-attacks can be incredibly costly and can place businesses of all sizes under major financial strain. It has never been more critical for businesses to take proactive measures to help manage these risks, including the implementation of cyber insurance cover.

A cyber insurance policy is an extremely valuable risk transfer tool for every business. Having cyber insurance cover can help protect your business’s reputation and finances and can help minimise any damage or disruption from the cyber-attack.

Request a quote for Cyber Insurance with Marsh 

Marsh is a leading cyber broker, and can provide our clients access to competitive rates and extensive insurance coverage. Please contact your broker today for a no-obligation quote.

Learn more about cyber insurance

Marsh Advantage Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 31 081 358 303, AFSL 238369) (“MAI”) arrange this insurance and is not the insurer. The Discretionary Trust Arrangement is issued by the Trustee, JLT Group Services Pty Ltd (ABN 26 004 485 214, AFSL 417964) (“JGS”). JGS is part of the Marsh group of companies. Any advice in relation to the Discretionary Trust Arrangement is provided by JLT Risk Solutions Pty Ltd (ABN 69 009 098 864, AFSL 226 827) which is a related entity of MAI. The cover provided by the Discretionary Trust Arrangement is subject to the Trustee’s discretion and/or the relevant policy terms, conditions and exclusions. This website contains general information, does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs and may not suit your personal circumstances. For full details of the terms, conditions and limitations of the covers and before making any decision about whether to acquire a product, refer to the specific policy wordings and/or Product Disclosure Statements available from Marsh Advantage Insurance on request.