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24 June 2024

Cyber      Client stories     

Navigating cyber threats

Cyber risk is a reality for every business in the digital age. Whether it's a business email becoming compromised, a data breach, a ransomware attack or a phishing scam, cyber incidents can cause significant financial and reputational damage to your organisation. 

This was a frightening reality faced by many New Zealand businesses in 2023, with CERT NZ (New Zealand's Computer Emergency Response Team) documenting 7,935 such incidents, impacting both individuals and organisations. 24% of these cyber-attacks resulted in financial loss, with a staggering total of $18.3 million lost. These numbers highlight the importance of being prepared and proactive in managing your cyber risk, no matter the size of your business.

Laptop emails

Million-dollar cyber threat

Claire Haszard, Gallagher cyber expert says that one of the most common claims is when business email is compromised. This is when email credentials are hacked, and the account is used to scam money or goods. 

“These emails appear with a request to change an account or with an invoice for payment, which is not verified, and their accounts department pays the invoice. That missed verification step is crucial to minimising the risk of sending funds to the wrong bank account.”

“We recommend phoning a number that is publicly listed, somewhere other than on the invoice, to verify the validity of the request,” Claire says.

One of the largest breaches Claire has seen is a transfer of over a million dollars.

“Most of the time when procedures haven't been followed, it's because people are stressed out, in a rush and just need to get it done, so they don't follow the proper steps. In this case, they hadn't followed the verification procedure. While a cyber breach caused the issue, if the risk management steps had been followed then the money wouldn't have been stolen.”

Online banking transaction

Other common cyber threats 

There are different security threats that can put confidential information and business operations at risk and they often involve human carelessness or mistakes. These threats include data leaks, hacking, malware infections, scams and network attacks.

Claire explains that for businesses, it’s important to educate your staff and/or outsourced service providers on cybersecurity basics, and cyber insurance is also key.

“A cyber-attack can affect your earnings, your reputation and customer trust and can expose you to legal action or negligence claims. While a cyber insurance policy cannot prevent a breach, it can assist you to manage and recover if you suffer a cyber-attack,” says Claire.

Cyber 1

Take charge of your cyber risk

Cyber threats are constantly changing, so businesses can benefit from partnering with an insurance broker specialising in cyber risk. Talk to your Gallagher broker about how we can help you to identify potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities and to advise on the best cyber cover for your business, so you can continue to face your future with confidence.


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