Could cybercriminals cost you a fortune?

Woman on phone

Did you know that any piece of electronic equipment connected to the internet can be vulnerable to a cyberattack that could cost you tens of thousands of dollars?

Everything from your phone to your office computer to the scan tools out on your workshop floor is a potential entry point into your business for a cybercriminal.

Every year cyberattacks cost the Australian economy $29 billion; the average cost of a data breach to a company is $2.13 million. In New Zealand, cyberattacks in the 2019-20 Financial Year cost victims NZ$108 million.

It’s easy to imagine that big businesses are the usual targets of these kinds of attacks, but most of the tens of millions of cyberattacks in Australia and New Zealand every year are on small and medium-sized businesses. Why? Because smaller businesses don’t have the kinds of sophisticated IT security systems of bigger companies.

Put simply, smaller businesses are easier to hack — and gaining entry to your entire computer system can be as easy as tricking you into clicking on a link in an email. Once they’re in, the criminals can lock your computers, demand ransoms, drain your bank accounts and steal personal information.

Cybercriminals often ask for smaller amounts of money, in the order of $3000, to relinquish control of your IT system. Usually, they ask to be paid in Bitcoin so the transaction is not traceable.


If you don’t have IT security in place, we highly recommend you speak to a specialist as soon as possible to get your first line of defence in place. You may as well make it as hard as possible for criminals to get into your system.

The other step we encourage every Member to take is purchasing cyber insurance. If you do fall victim to a cyberattack it is important to act fast, and having cyber insurance allows you to do just that. Depending on your policy, cyber insurance: 

  • Loss of revenue from interrupted business
  • Hiring negotiators and paying a ransom
  • Recovering and replacing records or data
  • Liability and third-party loss
  • Defence of legal claims
  • Preventing further attacks.

Having cyber insurance gives you access to IT specialists who can access your IT system, stop any more damage, and attempt to undo the damage done by the criminals.

The policies aren’t expensive, and they won’t prevent an attack from happening, but they can make all the difference in keeping the costs involved in the clean-up under control. It’s a worthwhile investment.

To find out more about cyber insurance, contact your Risk Account Manager.

This article was published 09/08/2021 and the content is current as at the date of publication.