Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 15 August 2017 01:15

Cyber Plus: Australia’s ‘first’ small-biz bundle for tackling cyber crime

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Billed as providing a “complete range of tools and services including cyber liability insurance, technology tools, and access to a crisis response team”, Cyber Plus sounds like a great addition.

Everyone knows that a cyber attack on your business, infrastructure and customers is always a giant minus, so the pitch to add some Cyber Plus protection and insurance sounds like an “Australian first” that has been a long time coming.

Clearly, you may well have your own IT people to help protect your business, or you may not, but it never hurts to have a force multiplier on hand, with Cyber Plus wanting to be that positive force you turn to when calculating how to have the best proactive and reactive defences.

After all, with Australian small businesses now rating cyber-crime as one of their five biggest threats, it should come as no surprise to see an overwhelming 95% being reported as wanting tools to help protect them.

In response, Cyber Plus has come to the rescue, promoting the imminent introduction of a “bundle” of cyber tools tailored to protect small business from cyber-attacks – which the company bills as “the first of its kind in Australia.”

Paul Waite, co-founder of Cyber Plus, said: “Global cybercrime is predicted to grow from US$3 trillion in 2015 to US$6 trillion by 2021”, and points to these stats to back up his claim.

Waite waits not, stating: “That looks like a good enough reason to ditch computers altogether and go back to paper and pen, but obviously that’s not going to happen. We need to tackle this issue head-on with all of the tools we have at our disposal.”

Mike Newbigin, clearly no newbie as a Cyber Plus director, said: “All businesses, no matter their size, need to have the cyber security basics”, adding, “most businesses are critically dependent on digital networks and may not be fully aware of how a cyber attack could be fatal to their operations".

So, what is within the Cyber Plus Small Business Bundle?

We’re told that it consists of three cyber basics:

  • Preparation for the possibility of a cyber attack, including risk advisory services; cyber response planning; email and web filtering software; antivirus; firewall; backup; encryption; user access control; and cyber awareness training;
  • Protection from the effects of a cyber attack with cyber insurance; and
  • Responding to a cyber attack with: forensic investigation; legal assistance; public relations; identity monitoring services; and credit monitoring services.

Speaking about Cyber Plus’ latest offering, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said: “SMEs are no strangers to cyber crime. As threats continue to evolve and grow, we are seeing more cyber criminals shift their focus to small businesses. Small businesses make up the backbone of the Australian economy, and we need to do all we can to ensure the industry has the tools, skills and resources to build the cyber resilience necessary to withstand attacks.

Waite added: “Before becoming a victim of a cyber attack, 80% of small businesses feel confident they can respond, despite not having the expertise and resources.

“Not unsurprisingly, this falls to 20% (see page 11 of this report for the stat source) after a small business becomes a victim of cyber crime. This to be expected as small business owners need to believe they can keep their business running in the face of many challenges.”

Newbigin said: “As the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) recently noted, one in five small businesses experienced an extortion attack last year.

“But small businesses are also increasingly targeted by criminals using highly sophisticated cyber attacks such as distributed denial of service (DDoS), botnets, worms, spear phishing and drive-by exploits. It’s an increasing threat and one where the criminals seldom get caught.

“One key element of small businesses’ arsenal against cyber crime is cyber insurance. It’s increasingly a must have for small business.

“A small business relies heavily on its reputation and this can be irreversibly damaged by a data breach. It’s at this time small businesses need the expert advice, yet without a cyber insurance policy, they may not have the resources.”

The company further explains that it “includes the flexibility to cater for differing risk profiles”, and says its “comprehensive suite of insurance products addresses various first and third-party liability issues that can arise from a serious cyber attack or data breach".

Then there’s the assurance that Cyber Plus’s Small Business Bundle clients “also have immediate access to a crisis response team, which includes a panel of forensic IT experts who will work with them to manage a cyber incident".

Keen to show its cyber cred, the company notes it has “partnered with global consultants Deloitte Risk Services, BDO, Ernst & Young and leading credit and identity monitoring supplier Equifax plus law firms Minter Ellison, King & Wood Mallesons and Madgwicks to provide this market-leading level of advisory support".

Leon Fouche, a partner at BDO, said: “We are thrilled to be working closely with Cyber Plus to offer this solution to the SME market. The increasing prevalence of external hacks and internal security breaches are not just for large corporates but businesses of all sizes across all sectors. They need to have a strategy to protect their assets and their reputation – and this needs to be in place before any attacks are perpetrated.

“With our expertise in cyber incident response, we are working with Cyber Plus to offer something very valuable to the Australian SME market,” Fouche added.

Cyber Plus also notes its technologies within the bundle “protect computers, file servers and mail servers from viruses, threats and phishing attacks".

Phil Cuff, chief executive of TokenOne, didn’t speak off-the-cuff when he said: “Protecting our assets, people and identity are key when it comes to tackling cyber attacks. By partnering with Cyber Plus, we’re empowering small to medium businesses to take action with a complete bundled solution to a hugely complex problem.”

Newbigin continued: “Reputation is an intangible asset, yet it is a decisive factor in a business’s future success. Irreversible damage can be done to a brand’s reputation if they do not have risk management and mitigation strategies in place to combat a data breach.

“Moreover, the digital age has increased vulnerability, with the potential for reputational harm via social media that can carry information across the globe instantly,” ended Newbigin.

So, what does the aforementioned imminent availability mean?

Cyber Plus said its cyber bundle “will be for sale from September 2017".

No prices are mentioned, but as per usual, they will be available at relevant prices to relevant parties, and you can no doubt find out more by contacting the company.

Stay safe out there!

CyberPlus

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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