Cyber Attack Is Wake Up Call For Small Businesses Without Security & Cyber Insurance

Businesses that had not kept up-to-date with Windows security patches might have found themselves held to ransom by the recent ‘WannaCry’ cyber attack.

This cyber attack was the biggest ever global ransomware attack ever to hit 150 countries and more than 200,000 computers. It was certainly a wake up call for businesses, especially small businesses, that had not updated their security, nor had any cyber insurance.

How Australian Time Zone Saved The Day

Australia got lucky this time around purely because of the time-zone difference. While businesses in Europe, particularly the UK, were infected with this malicious malware, most organisations in this part of the world had already closed down for the weekend, meaning staff could not open compromised attachments and spread the malware. The media coverage on the attack that same weekend created enough awareness for companies to be vigilant when they returned to work the following Monday.

Small Businesses Might Wanna’ Cry If There’s Another Cyber Attack

However, chief technology officer of McAfee Asia Pacific, Ian Yip warns us that “there is still a very real danger that the current attackers, and any others that can craft an evolved version, will launch subsequent waves given the success of this first wave.”

According to Leon Fouche, national leader for cyber security at advisory firm BDO, smaller businesses are most at risk as they are less likely to have kept their patching up-to-date and they tend to run older versions of Windows such as XP, which are unprotected.

Smaller businesses do not have the teams of technology experts on hand to keep their systems up-to-date and protected, like bigger firms do. Criminals are not stupid, they prey on small businesses for these exact reasons. They also know that small businesses are more likely to pay the ransom as they are desperate to get their systems and data back, so that they don’t have to cease trading overnight. However, paying the ransom does not necessarily mean you are going to have your files stored. There is a high probability that once paid, hackers will disappear without handing over the decryption code.

Even if small businesses become more vigilant with security patches, it is highly likely that future attacks will target another weakness of small businesses. This is why cyber insurance should be part of a small business strategy to mitigate cyber threats. For more information or an estimate on cyber insurance costs give our brokers at Leed a call on 1300 881 464 or fill in our cyber insurance online quote form.