Are you protected against a cyber attack? With computers now an integral part of all travel businesses, the question must be raised.
Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers has raised it and AFTA has given it prominence on its website.
Gow-Gates points out that computers save time, allow easier work flow, store a greater amount of information on clients (both individual and commercial), store plans and marketing for the future, financial information and numerous other matters. There is no limit on the amount of information that can be retained.
“Computers are everywhere but the result of this great expansion has unfortunately created a new dishonest opportunity for cyber crimes,” Gow-Gates points out.
“Every person who utilises a computer has received the unusual or unidentifiable e-mail. Most are handled adequately however some because of the inviting or inquisitive sub titles may get opened with the potential result ‘Our computer has been hacked’”.
Consider the consequences, the insurer warns:
- Client credit/debit card numbers;
- Dates clients are away on trips;
- Identity information on clients/employees;
- Your own sensitive data/intellectual property such as client lists, marketing and business plans fall in the hands of competitors;
- Shut-down from a denial-of-service attack, resulting in loss of business;
- Extortion demands;
- Privacy issues.
Following a security breach, all of the above could potentially be in the hands of hackers, extortionists or be taken by dishonest or disgruntled employees, Gow Gates points out, adding that it is crucial for firms to consider the risk cyber crime poses to their businesses.
“Whilst insurance can protect from the financial loss to your business it is important that you are vigilant in the security of your computer networks (from anti-virus protection, firewalls and even staff passwords),” Gow-Gates says.
“It may be prudent to seek the advice of a professional IT Consulting firm.
“In addition you should have in place a Data Breach Protection Plan for your organisation in written format, shared with your staff so that all are aware of what needs to be done in the event that you are victim of a cyber attack.
“A good source of information is provided by the Australian Information Commissioner at www.aoic.gov.au with details on Data Breach Guides and what to do.”
Some insurers, including Gow-Gates, offer Cyber Insurance. They say this is a great support, takes away the worry, assists in how to contain the breach, understand the breach, and who to notify. It also covers your liability to third parties for compensation arising from the breach and many other costs.
Edited by William Sykes