Becoming the victim of a cyberattack is a bad time for any business, big or small. The direct loss of revenue paired with hits to reputation and productivity typically causes huge financial losses across the affected organisation.

“The cyberthreat to Australian organisations is undeniable, unrelenting and continues to grow.”

What’s more, the risks for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often compounded. Without cash reserves to fall back on, an up-and-coming business can have its wings clipped before it’s even gotten off the ground.

This makes it important for businesses of any size to have adequate business insurance to mitigate the substantial digital risks. With almost half of all Australia’s 2.1 million businesses online [I couldn’t actually find the total number of businesses in Australia – the 2.1 m figure](by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest reckoning) and with around 95 per cent of them in the small category, insurance cover will be the last line of defence against substantial financial loss.

But what’s the threat? The Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) discovered some interesting facts in its recent threat.

f you can’t remove the risk of cybersecurity, you can at least mitigate them

Cybercrime up by a fifth

The research looked at the number of cybercrime incidents responded to by the Australian Signals Directorate in the past 12 months. Overall, last year saw a 20 per cent increase in cyberattacks from 2013 – a figure that has consistently been growing year on year.

Back in 2011, there were 313 responses; in 2014, that figure stood at 1,131. All this adds up to a staggering $1 billion estimated annual loss to Australian businesses from cybercrime.

When an SME doesn’t have the financial backing to shrug off the significant damage caused by such issues, it will be down to their business insurance to keep them afloat. In fact, SMEs are some of the most frequently targeted, with a 2011 Symantec study showing that more than 30 per cent of these smaller businesses have been the target of online breaches

ACSC also had a word to say on the dangers of cybersecurity threats, and suggested that virtually every company – regardless of their size – could be at risk.

“The cyberthreat to Australian organisations is undeniable, unrelenting and continues to grow. If an organisation is connected to the internet, it is vulnerable. The incidents in the public eye are just the tip of the iceberg,” the report read.

“Compromise is expensive. It can include financial losses, damage to reputation, loss of intellectual property and disruption to business. Australia cannot afford this.”

Mitigating the risk

If you are looking for a business insurance plan that covers you for a range of physical and digital threats, it’s important to spend some time looking at your options.

The Australian insurance market is complex and competitive, which is why MGA’s insurance brokers are on hand to help businesses of all sizes find cost-effective and complete policies.

Call one of your local MGA offices today to secure your business.