Social media risks for your business

Social media is everywhere. It’s unavoidable, it’s powerful, and it’s here to stay.

That being said, social media does come with a set of risks. According to the latest EY Global Information Security Survey, 59% of organisations had a “material or significant incident” in the past 12 months. In fact, social media risk management is a completely different domain of expertise.

It is also crucial to recognise that with social media, messages can spread far and wide very quickly! While it is one of the reasons why social media marketing is so praised, when defamation, slander, and negative publicity are involved, it can cause serious damage to the reputation of a business. A negative brand image will have a lasting impact on your business until resolved effectively with social media risk management techniques.

Basic security practices and mitigation strategies can be adopted in order to manage those risks:

1.0 Social media policies and guidelines

Have a clear process as to who is responsible for posting on social media. Have guidelines as to what messages are appropriate to feature on social media and tone/voice to be used. This process should also provide guidance on how often social media is monitored and responded to and especially how to respond to negative comments.

2.0 Employee training

Human error accounts for 20% of cyber-attacks according to EY Global Information Security. In today’s busy world, it is all too easy for an employee to accidentally expose the company to threats online. Ensuring that your employees are involved in relevant training involving social media is key. Have training sessions around how to identify and avoid scams, attacks, and other security threats; who to notify, and how to respond if a social media security concern arises.

3.0 Professional use and personal use of social media

Always be wary of the language you use on social media. When deciding on what social channels to use for your business take into account the needs of the organisation, not the owner’s/manager’s personal views of social media. Also, remember that nothing on social media is really private. It is important to take the time to think through a message before sharing it on social media.

Regardless of all precautionary measures, insurance is always recommended as an extra layer of protection. Insurance has a role to play, but it is important to understand how cover works in relation to social media risks because the protection insurance provides has limitations.

So, what can insurance cover?

If you have been accused of defamation as a result of comments you have made on social media in your capacity working for a business, cover may be available within public and product liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, as well as certain other policies.

Public and product liability, as well as professional indemnity insurance, may also help cover legal costs required in defending yourself in court; in the instance where you’ve been a victim of keyboard warriors on social media. That being said, policies are unlikely to cover for threats such as someone “simply” trolling your business, but rather provide cover for the loss of a major customer contract. For this to happen, the trolling or event would likely need to be defined as a crisis event.

The digital world isn’t 100% secure and even with the best antivirus software and firewalls, cyber threat is real. With the numerous social media accounts available and the use of 3rd party apps for creating content and scheduling posts, hackers have more avenues to crack through to a business; increasing risks of breaches in data records, intellectual property, and ransomware. In this case, having cyber insurance could be invaluable.

Social media offers a world of opportunities but just like any other channel, social media is not risk-free. The risks can be mitigated with effective policies and practices. Of course, as much as precautionary measures can be taken, you should consider insurance to cover your business if all fails. Social media marketing and risk management should be taken seriously and it is essential for growing businesses to ensure they are both given equal attention.

Contact us today to receive assistance on how insurance can protect you against social media risks.

Disclaimer – the information provided here is general advice only and has been prepared without taking in account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

How Cyber Insurance can help protect your business

As our reliance on technology, the internet, and all things digital continues to grow, so does cyber risk. For businesses of all sizes and even government bodies, falling prey to cyber attacks is one of the key areas of concern every day. Evidently, every business with an online presence or electronic data records is potentially at risk. Cyber incidents can put a business in a financial crisis as well as threaten your intellectual property, put your customers’ confidential information in jeopardy, and cause significant damage to your brand. Let’s take a look at the common types of cyber threats and what you can do to protect your business.

1. Malicious Software (Malware)

Malware is the generic term encompassing viruses, spyware, trojans and worms. The aim is to gain access to private information such as credit card details and passwords. Malware can also spy on a user’s computer and take control of its functionalities. Malware can happen to anyone and at any time. Malware attacks don’t require advanced skills and can be “performed” anywhere in the world.

2. Scam Emails (Phishing)

Chances are you’ve probably already come across scam emails before as they are typically sent to thousands of people. Scammers have become increasingly good at mimicking language, branding, and logos to appear real. Unfortunately, phishing scams aren’t only limited to emails – they are now also prevalent through SMS, Instant Messaging, and across social media platforms. Be cautious of requests for money (urgent or overdue bills), suspicious attachments, or “click here to win” links and requests to check or confirm login details.

3. Ransomware

First off – Never pay a ransom! You are not guaranteed to regain access plus you could be susceptible to another attack (and be even more out of pocket!). Similar to phishing, ransomware attacks are typically carried out via a malicious but legitimate-looking email link or attachment. When the link is clicked on or the document downloaded, ransomware will encrypt a user’s files then demand a ransom to restore access – typically payable using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Ransomware creators prey on businesses of varying sizes but due to small businesses often being less security conscious, are less likely to implement cyber security measures.

So what can you do to minimise your risks?

1. Regular updates

Make sure that you’re turning on automatic updates. Updates are newer versions of software you’re utilising. They tend to run faster and more efficiently but even more important, they’ll tend to have higher security levels which in turn reduces your risks of cyber attacks

2. Automatic backups

A backup is a digital copy of your business’s most important documents. If your information is lost, stolen or destroyed; at least you’ll have a back up which means you’ll be back into business quicker and easier. You could also opt for an external drive and keeping it somewhere safe offsite if you prefer.

3. Multi-factor authentication

A security measure that requires two or more proofs of identity to grant you access – think of it as a double layer of security. It’s usually a combination of a pin and a physical possession. It could be a password, security question and a code sent to your mobile phone for example. More sophisticated and high value data could be protected by fingerprint and retina screening. While a hacker could get a hold of your PIN, it is unlikely that they’ll be able to obtain and use other proofs of identity.

While taking the above precautions will reduce your risks of cyber attacks, what happens if all fail? This is where having insurance is crucial!

As covered previously, with the rise of cyber attacks, data breaches are becoming the norm, and having adequate coverage to protect your business from risk is paramount. So what can cyber insurance cover?

Cyber insurance can help cover financial losses to your business (do take note of your excess limits), your customers, and other 3rd parties following a cyber security breach.

This might cover costs associated with:

  • Loss of revenue due to interrupted business
  • Hiring negotiators and potentially paying ransom in extreme cases
  • Recovering or replacing your records or data
  • Liability and loss of third party data
  • Defense of legal claims
  • Investigation by a government regulator
  • Copyright infringement
  • Misuse of intellectual property online
  • Crisis management and monitoring
  • Prevention of further attacks

Insurance policies vary and with a myriad of options out there, it is best to seek professional advice. Contact Optimus 1 today to receive assistance on what insurance cover will suit your needs.

7 Types of Insurance Your Business Needs

Running your own business is exciting. It can also be risky.

As a business owner, you’re exposed to a variety of business risks that could damage your business, cause you extensive financial problems or even sink your business altogether.

But if you’re protected with the right insurance, you can go about your work with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that no matter what gets thrown your way, you’ll be able to deal with it. It will free up time and energy for you to concentrate on what really matters: growing your business.

That’s where we come in. Our team will make the time to speak with you about the way your business works, and from there we’ll use our expertise to suggest the appropriate insurance policies to suit your individual situation. Your solution may require multiple insurance policies or a business pack may be more appropriate.

Before you speak with us, you might want to think about the types of business insurance you think you’ll need‑you can iron out the details with us later.

Here are 7 common types of business insurance to consider:

1. The Compulsory Policies
You might already know about some of the insurance policies that are compulsory in Australia, depending on the state in which you operate. If you hire workers, you will need workers compensation insurance. If you own a motor vehicle, you will need third party insurance. Some companies are required to hold public liability insurance. Talk to us about which of these might apply to you!

2. Business Vehicle & Fleet Insurance
Whether you’re a builder, tradesman, delivery company or a commercial business looking for vehicle insurance and have a number of vehicles in your business, you can have them covered under a single commercial fleet insurance policy. These vehicles can be registered in the name of a company, a partner or director of the company, allowing one policy to cover your whole business. Depending on the insurer, a fleet can be as small as two vehicles. We can help with individual business vehicle policies as well.

3. Property Insurance
Whether you own an office, rent a space or work from home, the space you work in and equipment stored there should be insured to protect against any problems with theft and accidents. Keep in mind that everyday home insurance policies often don’t allow for problems related to working from home, so it’s worth checking to see how any existing policy you hold applies to your business.

4. Product Liability
If you’re thinking about selling a product as part of your business, you will want to look at product liability insurance. This will protect your business in the event that your product causes damage, and should be tailored to the specific product you are looking to make.

5. Professional Liability
If you deliver a service, protecting yourself against negligence claims with professional liability insurance is a must. This type of claim can come up if you make a mistake or fail to deliver your professional services—this is especially important if there are professional guidelines you need to meet within your industry.

6. Technology/Cybercrime
The accidental damage or loss of your computers and data can be covered by technology insurance. Cybercrime policies should protect you from the costs of business disruptions and data security measures in the event you experience an attack.

7. Business Interruption
You can think of this as income protection insurance—but for your business. In the worst case scenario that your business operations are affected, your business could lose income and the ability to manufacture products. If your company relies on a specific physical location for business, like a factory or retail store, you will want to look at this type of insurance.

Business Pack Insurance

Business pack insurance covers several different types of insurance under one policy. This means less paperwork for you, and it’s often cheaper too. Keep in mind, though, that some business packs will not cover all risks and may have smaller sub limits.

As your insurance broker, we can look at your business risks, offer risk management strategies and help you understand the various insurance policies available to you.

To get started or to review your existing policies, contact us on (07) 4041 5611 or info@optimus1.com.au.

Reviewing Your Business Insurance

Insurance is something that most business owners set and forget. They simply don’t think about insurance unless they need to use it. Like your business, your insurance needs will change over time. It is a good idea to review your coverage periodically to make sure that you are not paying for insurance that you don’t need and, more importantly, that your assets have adequate protection.

When to review your business insurance

As your business changes so do your insurance needs. Here are a few specific situations where you should always review your insurance policy:

  • Change in size – If your business has grown or shrunk dramatically your insurance needs will change as well. Factors like hiring more employees or adding locations will likely impact your coverage needs.
  • Location change – When your company moves locations you may need more or less coverage than you currently carry simply because different locations carry different risk factors.
  • New innovations or technology – if your company implements the latest and greatest innovations or technology it is a good idea to look at your coverage to ensure that these new innovations are covered.
  • Annually – even if you haven’t experienced any major changes in the last year it is still recommended that you evaluate your business insurance annually. In doing so you can close any gaps that you might have missed previously, and you also have a chance to evaluate your premiums or shop around.

What does a business insurance review include?

During the business insurance review process, you and your insurance broker will sit down and evaluate a number of components related to your business. Most of this evaluation comes down to risks and how to mitigate risk with insurance.

  • Personnel Review — You should review whether you have gained or lost employees or if you are allowing people to work from home.
  • Equipment Review – if your business has purchased vehicles, computers, machinery, or any other piece of equipment after your last insurance review you may need to update your coverage.
  • Technology Review – Living with the internet provides additional costs and risks for business owners. You will want to ensure that you have insurance protecting against hacking and reducing your liability in case of a breach of security.

Business insurance review during COVID

Think of how your business has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe your employees now work exclusively from home, connecting via video chat rather than in person. To do this you probably have purchased technology to make this happen, items like microphones, laptops, and software packages. Some of these changes are permanent, others, are not.

Conducting a business insurance review for companies who are shifting to remote work can save money and ensure that they are covered for new liabilities.

For example, you may not need as much liability coverage on your building itself because your employees are not using the building. However, you may want to shift that coverage to cover your new technology. This ensures that your premiums are going towards covering parts of your business that need coverage and getting rid of unnecessary coverage in the process.

Wrapping up

Up-to-date insurance protects the business that you have worked so hard to build. Conducting a business insurance review annually or after any major changes in your business is a good way to save money on premiums and to ensure that your business is not leaving anything to chance.

Contact us on (07) 4041 5611 or click here to book in for a review of your business insurance.

Real Risks in Business: A Guide to Insurance

Starting a business is a risky business, which is why it pays to be prepared! While it is impossible to predict exactly which possible hardships may befall your company throughout its years of operation, it is possible to load up on the right business insurance that will provide you with coverage when you need it most.

Below is an explanation of some of the most common risks in business, and how best to mitigate them going forward.

Damage to business property and/or assets

This could be as a result of a flood, a storm or another natural disaster, or it could be as a result of attempted theft or vandalism. Either way, damage to your business property and/or assets is sure to prove a costly challenge to overcome. This is why so many business owners opt to take out property insurance. It is a type of insurance that is recommended whether you own or lease your business property.

Business interruption

This is a risk that is not only extremely common, but it is also something that almost every business from around the world deals with on a regular basis. Business interruption in some form or another is inevitable. Whether it is due to the fact that your office is uninhabitable following extreme weather, or because your network is down, business interruption means an interruption to productivity and cashflow, which can have far-reaching consequences, especially if the interruption lasts longer than a few hours. In this regard, it is a good idea to invest money in a business interruption insurance policy which can be carefully customised to suit each business owner’s unique requirements.

Injuries on your business premises

Every business owner who employs workers is required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers medical-related costs and will provide wage-loss compensation in the event that an employee is unable to work for a period of time following an accident or injury. However, it does not usually provide cover for any lawsuits that may arise following an accident or injury on your business premises. Sometimes, it will be a client who injures themselves on your property. In these instances, it becomes obvious why so many experts advise business owners to take out general liability and public liability insurance.

Employee-related incidents

You increase your business risk exponentially simply by hiring employees. As mentioned, workers’ compensation is mandatory, but there are other ways in which to reduce your risk and ensure maximum coverage relating to your employees and any issues involving them. For example, it is worthwhile looking into management liability and employment practices liability insurance. This type of insurance has been created to provide adequate protection to business owners and managers in terms of lawsuits connected to workplace discrimination of potential, current and past employees. It also protects against most third-party claims.

Risky Business: Why Your Small Business Needs Ransomware Insurance

Did you know that cyber-attacks went up by 700% last year, leaving many Australian businesses feeling unprepared? A cybersecurity threat can lead to lost data and money. When your system gets taken over by ransomware, your business is held, hostage.

A cyber insurance policy that covers you in the event of ransomware is a must for all businesses. Read on to learn about why your small business needs this type of tech insurance.

What Is Ransomware?

Malicious software that infects a computer with display messages that demand a fee needs to get paid is considered to be ransomware. Before your system can work again, the ransom must get paid.

This malware technique is a moneymaking scheme that gets installed through deceptive links. This could happen through phishing emails, calendar invitations, instant messages, or on a website. Once these links are clicked, they can encrypt files or lock the entire computer screen.

The ransomware attack rate in Australia is far from the global average. In fact, 67% of Australian organisations experienced this issue in the last 12 months.

Protecting Your Business

There are steps you can take to protect your business from an attack, but without ransomware insurance, there is still a high risk. Along with getting the proper business insurance, you can do the following:

  • Update Software Regularly
  • Never open unsolicited emails
  • Backup data regularly
  • Restrict software privileges within the workplace
  • Enable spam filters
  • Use firewalls to block suspicious content
  • Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication
  • Scan all emails for threats

With how much technology has advanced, you can get hacked even when you are being safe. Insurance is the only sure way to protect your business.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance can cover expenses and other financial losses due to a cyber event like malware attacks, cyber extortion, social engineering, or other invasive software.

A cyber policy typically covers three things, even though the policy may be broad. With a policy, you get covered for Liability (regulatory defence and privacy lawsuits), Internal Financial Loss (notification expenses, business interruption, extortion, data recovering, and crime/theft), and Emergency Incident Response (covering costs that were lost due to a cyber event).

Typically, a main coverage cyber policy includes:

  • Privacy Breach Notification & Crisis Management Costs
  • Privacy & Security Liability
  • Business Interruption – Loss of Profits & Operational Expenses
  • Data Recovery & System Damage
  • Regulatory Defence and Fine
  • Media Liability

Additionally, you can enjoy other coverages by paying an extra premium including:

  • Social Engineering & Funds Transfer Fraud
  • Payment Card Data Security Liability

Get Ransomware Insurance Now

Ransomware insurance is important for any business that uses a computer system. As small businesses are more susceptible, it is necessary to protect your business by following a few steps. However, the only way to ensure protection for your business is by adding ransomware insurance.
Anyone can fall victim to hackers, contact us today to get the insurance you must have for protection.

Is your business fire safe?

Although bushfire season is here, this risk is only one of a host of different sources of fire. Arson is often the cause of fire and poor maintenance standards are another serious fire risk for businesses.

For instance, damaged or old electrical cabling is all too often the cause of a fire, especially in older buildings. Another problem, says Michael White, Steadfast’s broker technical manager, is incorrect storage of flammable materials.

“Too often, fires are caused when flammable materials are not safely stored, or they are stored with non-flammable materials. Expanded polystyrene or EPS is an especially serious fire risk,” he explains, adding “that’s a very common issue that comes up in commercial buildings, particularly in food processing industries.”

These panels are commonly used in areas that are refrigerated such as cool rooms. While refrigerators are not typically flammable, if a fire does occur in a cool room, EPS panels help the fire to spread. And they are very hard to extinguish once they are alight.

“Insurance policies respond in different ways when a fire occurs”

Read the full article at Steadfast Well Covered

Important note – the information provided here is general advice only and has been prepared without taking in account your objectives, financial situation or needs.

Business Insurance – what should every business consider?

Running a business has a number of responsibilities and associated risks whether you are a sole trader or global enterprise. Business insurance can protect you against the financial damage of business risks giving you peace of mind to concentrate on growing your business.

In Australia, some insurances are compulsory – if you hire employees you must have workers compensation in accordance with each state regulations. Further to this some companies are required to have Public Liability Insurance to cover for third party death or injury and if you own a motor vehicle Third Party Insurance is also compulsory.

In addition to the compulsory insurances there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Insurance companies will often package different types of insurance together which is more economical than separate policies. You will want to protect aspects of your business such as:

  • Business income
  • Business assets
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Business owners

As your broker, we have the expertise and will take the time to understand your business and source the most suitable insurance for your needs.

Some of the key insurance products we’ll look at include

Technology and Cybercrime Insurance
Technology Insurance covers accidental damage or loss to computers, electronic equipment and data. Cyber Liability Insurance protects your business against the cost of keeping your data secure and business disruption in the event of cybercrime.

Property Insurance
Property insurance covers damage or loss to buildings, contents and stock caused by insured events and accidental damage.

Business Vehicle Insurance
In addition to compulsory third party insurance we recommended that you consider business vehicle insurance to protect your company vehicles in the event of damage, theft or collisions.

Product Liability Insurance
Product Liability Insurance is a must for any business that manufactures its own products. Even with excellent manufacturing practice and quality control you cannot completely rule out legal action for a faulty product.

Directors and Officers Insurance
Managers are accountable for their actions and also the outcome of their decisions and unfortunately it’s easy to make a wrong decision in a high-pressure situation. Even with sound knowledge of the market, compliance regulations and risk management an unintentional mistake can be very costly which is where D&O Coverage offers protection. Risks that can be covered include employment practice, HR issues, reporting errors, unauthorised decisions and breaching compliance regulations or laws.

Contact us for a business risk analysis and customised insurance package.

When was the last time you thought about your insurance policy?

Are you sure you are covered? Don’t wait until you need to claim to discover your policy isn’t what you need.

If you’ve had the same insurance for a while it’s quite likely that your circumstances have changed since the policy was first taken out. As part of our client service we can handle your insurance cover management – this includes regularly reviewing your policies so that you have the correct level of cover. We identify new or emerging risks to your business and recommend necessary changes to your policy.

It’s good practice to not only review your policy annually but also when your circumstances change. A policy review needs to consider the following:

  • Stock levels – if you have increased or decreased your stock level your policy should accurately reflect this value
  • Staffing – a bigger or smaller team may affect the type and level of cover you need
  • Equipment and other assets – if you have bought or sold any new business assets your premium will need to change to reflect these
  • New risks – if the way you operate has changed you may have new risks to consider, also any new products, services or changes to sales channels, distributor to trade patterns may also change your insurance needs
  • Turnover change – if your turnover has changed this will impact your business interruption policy
  • Newly created entities or changes to directorships

How can we help?

We will save you time by researching and comparing your policy options using our expertise to provide options that best suit your needs. We will also ensure you have the correct levels and types of insurance at the most economical premium. As part of Steadfast we have access to Australasia’s largest network of policies and will take the hard work out of finding the right one for you.

The importance of keeping your details up-to-date

It’s a fast moving world, especially at the moment. Even though there’s so much going on, it’s essential to update your insurance broker any time your circumstances change to help ensure the cover you have in place is still appropriate for your enterprise.

A popular business pivot many beer and spirit firms have undertaken in recent months is a great example of what can go wrong if firms don’t tell their broker when their operations change.

During the early stages of the corona virus pandemic, many of these firms switched from making alcohol to hand sanitiser, as the need for their regular products dropped as bars and pubs closed and as demand for sanitiser sky rocketed.This was a great commercial solution for these firms, and a wonderful way to keep staff employed.

But it’s important these enterprising enterprises let their insurers know how their operations had changed, because their risks also shifted alongside their product lines.

Let’s say, for instance, the hand sanitiser damaged people’s skin and caused painful rashes, and the affected customers or businesses that had purchased the product made a claim against the business. The insurer could deny the claim if the business had not informed their insurer through their broker they were changing their product line, leaving the business liable to pay any damages from their own earnings.

“It’s important to tell your broker any time you circumstances change, who can in turn let your insurer know,” says John Clark, Steadfast’s broker support manager.“This is because policyholders should disclose anything that may affect the insurer’s decision to cover the business.

These include things like your business premises becoming unoccupied and reduced security,” he adds.There are many other situations organisations are facing at the moment they should also let their broker know about.“Many businesses like hotels and retailers may have seen their stock levels fall during the lockdown.

Read the full article on Steadfast Well Covered.