Alarming’ trend leaving SMEs exposed

A global insurer has flagged an “alarming” trend among SMEs that is increasing their exposure to cyber crime, even with high-profile attacks such as the one that hit Uber. Ridesharing platform Uber has attracted widespread criticism for trying to cover up a hack that affected as many as 57 million users worldwide. Notwithstanding such high-profile examples, it is the limited resources and supply chains with larger companies that make SMEs the most vulnerable to cyber attack.

The Allianz Global Assistance (AGA), part of the Allianz insurance group, revealed that Australian businesses have a clear disconnect between their intentions and actions around cyber security. According to AGA, more than half (56 per cent) are underprepared should they fall victim to cyber crime, even with the issue being ranked third highest on their list of key business risks. This is despite “a staggering 300 per cent increase” in the number of cyber attacks in 2016 alone.

“It is alarming to see that cyber crime is increasing, yet organisations that regularly review and test IT systems is decreasing: 73 per cent in 2015 to 57 per cent in 2016,” said AGA chief sales officer Brad Smith. “The need for a strong cyber security measure has never been greater.” Such statistics give weight to the theory that hackers are increasingly preying on businesses suffering ‘security fatigue’.

Sean Cunningham of Uber Geeks added that victims of cyber crime – including those of more than 47,000 cyber incidents in Australia in the 2016-17 financial year – often feel powerless, thus having proper processes in place can reduce this sense of powerlessness from adversely affecting the business.

Earlier this year, an accounting tech consultant demonstrated the widespread deficiencies in cyber security frameworks among Australian businesses by hiring a professional hacker who was able to infiltrate 9 of the 10 companies targeted.

An IT Audit can help to protect your business and identify any risks. Local IT provider ‘Motive IT’ have provided this article and offer an Audit service to help inform and protect the local business community. For more details please visit Motive IT

2018 Mandatory Reporting of data Breaches – This means everyone

Until now, data breach reporting in Australia has been largely voluntary. While regulated entities have been legally obligated to take reasonable steps to maintain the security of personal information held, there has been no obligation to notify individuals if their personal information is compromised.

A lack of awareness of such breaches has hindered individuals from taking preventative action against crimes and identity theft by, for instance, cancelling credit cards or changing passwords. With incidents of identity theft and crime continuing to rise at an alarming rate, and stolen data—including PayPal and credit card account details and bank login credentials—being made available for sale on dark web marketplaces, data breach is now considered to be a widespread issue and seriously impacting individuals, businesses and government agencies.

Finally though, after many years of stops and starts, the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 (Cth) passed the Senate on 13 February 2017 and received assent on 22 February 2018. The reforms amend the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) to impose mandatory data breach notification on Australian Privacy Principle (APP) entities when there has been an eligible data breach. Failure to comply exposes entities to penalties, including fines of $360,000 for individuals and $1.8 million for organisations. We look at the changes the legislation introduces and the implications of these changes for APP entities.


What is WSIB Accident Assist?

We know how important your car is to you, and a car accident, no matter how minor, can be a stressful experience. However, WSIB is here to help you.

We provide a value-added service called WSIB Accident Assist to ensure that in the unfortunate event of an accident, we will help to put you back on the road as soon as possible. We’ve partnered with Compass Claims, an industry specialist in accident management, to make sure we look after you when you need it most.

How WSIB Accident Assist works

If you are not at fault, our WSIB Assist Team will provide you with a like for like vehicle for the duration of your vehicle repair with no upfront cost. These charges are then recovered by Compass Claims directly from the at-fault insurance company.

If you are at fault, our team can provide a vehicle to you at a preferential rate, or if you have rental cover in your policy, Compass will recover the costs direct from your insurer on your behalf.

What to do if you’re involved in an accident

Simply call our Accident Assist Team on (02) 9587 3500. Your call will be answered by a trained professional who will take your details and commence the hiring of a vehicle process for you.

A helping hand when you need it most – Call our Accident Assist Team on (02) 9587 3500

New Broadband services will impact some security Systems. Are you NBN Ready?

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is currently being rolled out throughout Australia with a progressive implementation planned. The NBN utilises a range of technologies for broadband communication and for the majority of Australia. A fixed line connection operating over the existing copper network will be used in conjunction with new fibre optic technology. NBN is the wholesaler of this new network – once available, you will have a choice of phone and internet providers known as Retail Service Providers (RSPs) to select a plan that meets your needs.

What changes with the introduction of the NBN?

 The NBN changes communications technology to a digital data platform. This will impact upon devices currently used on the copper network, such as telephone landlines, monitored security alarm systems, monitored medical alarms and lift emergency phones. Changes to the current copper line technology mean such devices may not be compatible with the NBN.

What does this mean for you?

 The NBN may have an adverse impact upon existing devices within your home. In particular, devices used for monitoring of security alarms, lifts and medical alarms may require updating to ensure they will function when required in an emergency.

 What do you need to do?

 For monitored security alarms:

  • Contact your alarm service provider to review the current technology used and update equipment that is not compatible with the NBN;
  • Discuss the type of NBN service plan required to operate with your security alarm system;
  • Consider moving the monitoring of your security alarm system to alternative technology, such as the mobile network (3G/4G, also known as GPRS).

For lift emergency phone lines and monitored medical alarms:

  • Register your lift emergency phone service with the NBN by providing the correct Full National Number (FNN);
  • Register your monitored medical alarm with NBN.

Contact your service provider to migrate to an NBN-compatible solution.