Kiwi SMBs not keen on cyber insurance

Norton says only six percent of New Zealand small businesses hold a cyber insurance policy

Symantec subsidiary Norton says only six percent of New Zealand small businesses hold a cyber insurance policy, despite the fact that almost a fifth (18 percent) of the small businesses it surveyed had experienced a cyber attack.

However its survey results show a 50 percent increase in the number of small business planning to take cyber insurance, to nine percent in 2017. This figure rises considerably as the size of the business increases: 30 percent of businesses with 11-20 employees surveyed were considering purchasing cyber insurance, as were 19 percent of businesses with an IT spend of $6,000 or more .

The director of Symantec’s Norton business unit for Asia Pacific, Mark Gorrie, said: “Cyber insurance is an emerging trend as it presents an avenue for small businesses to become more resilient to a wide range of cyber risks and the costs associated with data breaches and business interruption. It can be a business’s safety net when all else fails.”

New Zealand small businesses that are considering cyber insurance were asked to estimate how much they would pay for cyber insurance. On average, businesses expected to pay $1,567. However Norton said estimates varied considerably because one third of respondents had no idea of what cyber insurance might cost.

Those businesses that did have cyber insurance were asked to identify what risks they were insuring against. Forty eight percent cited loss or theft of data as the key risk, followed by insurance/protection/precaution by 11 percent and software/hardware/server issues by nine percent.

Despite the survey suggesting that 18 percent of small businesses had been victims of a cyber attack, only two percent of those that have or have had cyber insurance reported having made a claim.

The same research was conducted in Australia, where it found a greater uptake of cyber insurance by small businesses. There, almost the same percentage of small businesses (19 percent compared to 18 percent in New Zealand) had experienced a cyber attack but more than twice as many had cyber insurance (14 percent compared to six percent in New Zealand).

A further 19 percent (nine percent in New Zealand) said they were looking to purchase cyber insurance in the next 12 months.

The percentage of those that had made claims was much greater: 20 percent compared to two percent in New Zealand.

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