Beware cyber attack

There are growing numbers of reports of cyber thieves and hackers targeting New Zealand businesses and even government agencies. Several admit to opening apparently legitimate emails which contain malware that has encrypted their files – they’ve then had a ransom demand to have them unlocked.

Others, including the New Zealand Fire Service, have been targeted by more sophisticated false invoicing scheme, sometimes using information gathered through social media accounts such as Facebook and Linkedin.

In a recent speech Prime Minister, John Key said: “There are multiple kinds of threats and cyber harms. Victims can include anyone – from individuals or small businesses that lack the capability to address these issues, right up to large corporations”.

Mechanical and collision repairers, vehicle dealers, service station operators and other MTA member businesses all have an exposure to liability if their customers’ personal information or supplier partner data is compromised. This could include paying compensation if they are harmed in some way.

New threats are always emerging. I urge MTA members to be proactive in managing their cyber risks. Regularly re-assess your back-up systems, anti-viral and anti-malware software and data management systems. This should include re-examining how you collect and store data. If a third-party stores the information, it is crucial you understand their security procedures and their insurance coverage.

Any online presence can open the way for hackers to try to tap into your systems and steal business intelligence and intellectual property.

It’s not only hackers who pose a threat. Basic human error, disgruntled ex-employees, poor processes and sub-standard technical infrastructure can all cause problems.

The costs of cyber-attacks go beyond traditional crime cover which can cover losses such as theft of credit card details or other valuable data. But you need specialist coverage for cyber attacks that involve ransom, legal and IT specialist fees, or restoring your business reputation.

Crombie Lockwood has the exclusive New Zealand rights to OMPL’s CyberSAFE insurance designed with exactly those costs in mind.

CyberSAFE covers:
 Crisis Management Costs and Notification Expenses – cover for PR consultant fees, advertising costs, legal expenses, IT specialists, loss adjustors and forensics
 Cyber Extortion – cover if a business is held to ransom and hackers demand money
 Cyber Business Interruption – cover for when you have been unable to trade for a period of time and lose money as result of a cyber attack or system fault.

Read more about those affected here.

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