Brokers need to talk to clients about cyber risk

Cyber risk and security are topics that every business should be worried about and something brokers should be talking to their clients about.

A recently released Aon Cyber Insights Report 2016 says ” Cyber risk is a real threat to every organisation no matter its scale or sector. However, forward-thinking organisations are not paralysed by the threat; they square up to the challenge and carefully assess the risks, measure and monitor their exposures, establish policies and procedures which they promulgate to all their staff, and prepare comprehensive response plans including insuring themselves appropriately to mitigate any impact.”

The most recent report from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) revealed that in 2014-15, CERT Australia – the national cyber response unit – responded to 11,733 incidents affecting businesses, 218 of which involved systems of national interest and critical infrastructure.

Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and the experts predict the number and severity of attacks to increase. The Government is taking this risk seriously, now looking to relocate and expand the Australian Cyber Security Centre and appointed a minister with direct responsibility for cyber related issues. So too are regulators, such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which is intent on helping companies improve their cyber resilience.

Cybercrime continues to grow rapidly as shown by the Australian Cyber Security Centre Threat Report 2015. The report predicts that the number and sophistication of “cyber adversaries” will continue to rise, making detection and response more difficult.

Aon’s report states “Cyber risk, in some instances more pervasive than traditional exposures, is present wherever organisations use technology to engage people, suppliers, customers, and governments.Despite a steady stream of global headlines and warnings about cyber risks, cyber insurance premium receipts in Australia are inadequate compared to the emerging cyber risks. Even if the total national premium pool reaches $40million this year that figure pales compared to the full costs of even one medium-sized cyber event.”