For most of us, mention of cybercrime reminds us of Hollywood blockbusters where hackers break into an FBI database. However, with our increasingly digital world where we expect to be connected to the internet at all times, cybercrime is becoming more and more common. In the digital age, it’s important for all of us to understand what cybercrime is and what threats we all face.
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime is when criminal activities are carried out using a computer or the internet. Cyber criminals use viruses and malware, online scams, and network or computer hacking to commit their crimes. With easy access to computers and other portable devices, it’s easy to understand why this activity is on the increase. There are numerous different forms of cybercrime including cyber stalking, phishing, fraud, identify theft, extortion and cyber terrorism.
The 2013 Norton Report estimated that the total cost of cybercrime in Australian in the 12 months prior to the report was $1.06 billion, with an estimated 5 million Australian victims effected. In Australia, there are comprehensive laws to combat cybercrime with hefty penalties applying to those who are caught. The increase in cybercrime has led to the development of the National Plan to Combat Cybercrime which commits the government to combatting cybercrime.
The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) also allows for easy reporting of suspected cybercrime. The initiatives taken by the Australian Federal Government outline the serious risk that cybercrime poses not only to people in general but also to Australian businesses.
The risk of cybercrime to business
Although the internet had been useful tool to promote and connect contractor businesses to the wider community, it also leaves them open to attack from cyber criminals. The impact of cybercrime on a business can be devastating and lead to the loss of numerous clients following incidents such as a breach of personal information. There have been many high profile examples of personal client details being publicised after cyber criminals infiltrated business networks.
Cybercrime doesn’t just occur when criminals intentionally hack into systems or upload malicious software. It can also be caused through the actions of those within the business through incidents such as leaving laptops unsecured in vehicles which are then stolen or rogue employees selling information. The ramifications of cybercrime for a contractors business can include exposure to financial losses, regulatory issues, data breach liabilities, damage to your brand and loss of client confidence.
Due to the prevalence of cybercrime, measures need to be put into place by employers and a response plan needs to be implemented. Such measures include good anti-virus software, laptop and mobile security, good social media management, effective backup, data encryption and sophisticated firewalls. Putting these measures in place can prevent cybercrime in your business.
For insurance related queries for your business, contact Contractor Cover today on 1300 GETCOVER and we would be happy to help.