Skip to content

Latest news

Cyber criminals succeed with traditional methodology

Cyber criminals are successfully wreaking havoc in computer systems using traditional techniques, brokers participating in an Emergence Insurance webinar have heard.

Gerry Power, Emergence’s National Head of Sales, told 1,100 brokers and clients that criminals continue to have success with hacking (involved in 48% of breaches) and malicious software (30% of breaches).

Errors caused 17% of breaches and 12% were from privilege misuse. Cyber criminals commonly used a mixture of methods, for example, phishing (disguising as a trustworthy entity) to obtain access to insert malware.

The statistics are from the global Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), compiled after Verizon investigated more than 50,000 claims. Emergence is one of only two insurance contributors globally which has partnered with Verizon to provide anonymised cyber claims data to assist in developing DBIR.

Gerry said the statistics showed more education was needed about cyber risk dangers, for example, 15% of staff still clicked on phishing emails.

“Phishing awareness is an important risk management tool,” he said.

“Brokers’ clients are dreaming if they think it won’t happen. Crims don’t have to steal data to make money, they can just stop you using it.” Ransomware was involved in 39% of claims. “It’s easy to deploy with an off-the-shelf tool kit bought on the dark web.”

Simple safeguards included restricting administration privileges; requiring three-factor ID for access; and always updating software.

Gerry said cyber event remediation was expensive and the cost would increase now Australia’s notifiable data breaches (NDB) scheme was in place.

Claims examples

Josh Shelley, Cunningham Lindsey Cyber Claims Manager, detailed Emergence claims examples to the webinar.

A regional Queensland boat dealer suffered a ransomware attack which was “a new breed” of encryption not previously seen. With IT assistance, files were restored from back ups, no ransom was paid, and there was no business interruption because the dealer was operational again within 24 hours.

An accountancy firm was hacked after a patch was not installed and 10,000 records were affected. The insured did not know personal information was stored in its website. Notification to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and affected clients was required under the NDB scheme.

A large advisory firm’s phones were hacked (phreaking) via decoding a simple password and expensive international calls made. The Emergence policy covered the additional phone costs and IT experts to install better firewalls.

Josh said lessons learned from the claims examples included:

  • Back up files daily
  • Install all software updates and patches
  • Use complex passwords.

Emergence Insurance hosts regular webinars as a service to brokers and their clients to update them on cyber risks.

Talk to your insurance broker about how Emergence Insurance can support your business in the event of a cyber attack.

Brokers can obtain Emergence cyber quotations for clients by accessing the broker portal at

Protect your future with Emergence