Recently Australia’s second largest telco, Optus, announced that the personal data of up to 9.8 million Australians information had been compromised in a massive cyberattack. Up to 10,000 customers details have since been offered for sale on the dark web. Private information like names, birth dates, phone numbers, addresses as well as passports, Medicare and driver’s licence numbers.

What Happened

Whilst the reason is not totally understood, experts believe that Optus had an application
programming interface (API) online that did not need authorisation or authentication to access customer data. Any user could have requested any other user’s information and there are outstanding hackers out there who are really, really good at finding a weakness or a soft spot in a company’s cyber defenses.

If a cyber breach like this can happen to a multi-million dollar business like Optus, then you can see how it could easily happen to any business with a website or electronic records. Cyber incidents are now considered the top risk facing businesses globally.

What Can You Do

  • Assess your business’ cyber strength and areas where you can improve. The Australian
    Government has a tool you can access here which can help you identify what your business is doing really well and where your business can improve when it comes to cyber security.
  • Take out a cyber insurance policy. An insurance policy is an extra defense to protect your business, your reputation and your customers. It will allow you to recover some of the costs you incur during a cyber incident. Depending on your policy, you may be able to make a claim for losses caused by the interruption to your business, the costs of recovering your data and upgrading your software, third party losses and ongoing crisis management expenses.

What If I Get Hacked Personally?

Individuals and families are also at risk of cybercrime. You could have your identify stolen, get caught up in an online scam or be the victim of cyber bullying.

There is an insurance policy that can provide you with protection from these crimes, and it’s
affordable starting at around $160 per year.

For more information on how you can protect your business, or yourself personally, please get in touch with Nikki Sheppard. Nikki is BCV’s general insurance specialist.

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