The number of detected cyber attacks skyrocketed in 2014 — up a staggering 48% from 2013 [Study: Cyberattacks up 48 percent in 2014 The Hill.com]. As this type attack continues to dominate the headlines, it’s natural for business owners to wonder if their business could be the next target.
Small to medium sized retailers run the risk of being a victim of cyber crime in 2015, with the industries most at risk being those that hold personal or sensitive information on a lot of people, or those using cloud & IP solutions. If your business falls into one of these categories, you should make sure you have stringent security strategies in place, backed up with a comprehensive insurance policy. Some of the industries most vulnerable of a cyber attack are:
The Retail Industry and Online Stores
The 2014 Trustwave Global Security Report found the retail industry to be the top industry compromised by cyber crime, making up 35% of the attacks investigated. Retailers are an attractive target for hackers as they store a huge amount of customer information, much of which is up-to-date, accurate and often stored alongside the customer’s credit card number. This data is extremely valuable to hackers. Small to medium sized retailers are particularly susceptible to attacks of this nature as their security systems are easier to infiltrate than their larger counterparts, and they don’t have the administrative, financial and legal resources to fight back.
The number of healthcare organizations that have reported a criminal cyber attack is on the rise, from 20% in 2009 up to 40% in 2013. [Think Tank on Data Protection Policy: Ponemon Institute 2013 survey by the Ponemon Institute 2014]. Hackers target the medical industry for a number of reasons. Medical records contain a wealth of information including Protected Healthcare Information and Personally Identifiable Information, which can be sold for a high value on the black market. Combined with the vulnerability of software in the medical industry in comparison to other sectors, it has become an extremely lucrative target for cyber criminals.
Hackers are interested in the in-depth user and client data stored in the IT system of businesses operating in the professional services industry. This industry is a particularly attractive target for a cyber attack due to the amount of detailed information that is held on each client, which can be sold on the black market for a considerable price. The regularity and number of cyber attacks in this area has increased in recent months, and travel insurer, Aussie Travel Cover (ATC) was one of the latest victims, finding 770,000 personal data entries in its database compromised in December 2014.
Corporates Using Cloud Computing and Remote Networks
Cyber criminals are aware of the amount of critical information that is stored in the cloud, from sensitive corporate data such as passwords and financial statistics, to business secrets and personal information. Clouds are attractive targets for cyber criminals as they cannot be protected by conventional security precautions such as firewalls, and they are often attached to a number of other devices, which hackers can penetrate once they are in. Knowledge around cloud breaches is minimal as companies often do not want to admit to a breach of this nature, so improving security in this area has proven difficult.
The number of cyber attacks is continuing to rise, with hackers targeting a huge variety of companies across a number of industries. There is no ‘typical’ company that is targeted and no ‘typical’ attack that we can defend against.
As a business owner you must be vigilant. A comprehensive insurance policy can help protect your assets and your business against considerable financial loss. Contact your Authorised Representative for information about how Cyber Insurance can protect your business.
This article is not intended to be advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice. Before you purchase insurance you need to properly understand the policy’s significant features, benefits and risks and you should carefully read the relevant Policy Wording.
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