How to Cybersecure your business during COVID 19?

As the world continues to deal with the economic and operational challenges from the global COVID-19 pandemic, cybercriminals are pivoting their online criminal methods to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since COVID 19, Ecommerce has gone ‘Gangbusters’ – selling online has been growing tremendously. Unfortunately, so have the cyberattacks especially whilst staff is working from home.

On average each month, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) receives about 4,400 cybercrime reports through ReportCyber and responds to 168 cyber security incidents.

Malicious cyber actors are actively targeting individuals and Australian organisations with COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails. These incidents are likely to increase in frequency and severity over the coming weeks and months. This is due, in part, to the ease in which existing scam emails and texts can be modified with a COVID-19 theme.

Opportunistic malicious actors are exploiting people’s concerns and desire for information about the COVID-19 pandemic by directing them towards websites designed to either install malicious software or steal personal information. In the last few weeks, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has observed thousands of COVID-19-related websites being registered. While the majority of these websites are legitimate, many are being created by malicious cyber actors seeking to exploit Australians during this difficult time.

As a proud partner of the government’s #StaySmartOnline initiative, DAS Insure provides a range of Cyber 101 awareness workshops. In the pursuit of the same, a webinar was delivered by Babette Bottin, founder of DAS INSURE. Reflecting upon the need of being extra careful and conscious of approaching your work online from home during COVID-19. Babette shared five tips which are as follows:

  • Beware of scams or what we call as online frauds using emails, text messages, viruses as attachments, links shared on social media sites, bank account passwords, credit card details, etc. Exercise vigilance to protect yourself from such frauds.
  • Make your passwords unique and strong for all digital devices like smartphones, laptops or tablets. Don’t use birth dates, wedding/anniversary date as your password. Instead, use long phrases like, ‘I like pizza every single day’, or ‘ I want to the best soccer player’ so on so forth. however, there is a catch if long passwords are allowed. Be smart in creating passwords for the best security.
  • Multi-factor authentication. This is very common to prevent unauthorised access to your personal digital devices. you can use a combination of techniques like the answer to a personal question, unique identification number of a physical possession like your credit card number, or something that inherently belongs to you like your fingerprint or retina pattern. This multi-layer security makes it difficult for hackers to breach.
  • Do not cancel or procrastinate hardware or software updates. Typically, they improve the efficiency and security of your system. Install and update your security software as and when it expires.
  • Automatic data backup: either automatic data backup or use a hard drive to have a complete record of company data or information. onsite or offsite, you must have a data back up to counterattack a crisis like a system hack.

Review and assess your business’s cybersecurity health, every now and then.

Click on the link to watch the complete webinar.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to learn more about how to get your team up to date on cyber safety and learn about various cyber risk management insurance policies to manage a cyber security breach.

Could cyber insurance be right for your small business?

Did you know Cyber Insurance for small business covers scams and phishing attacks even when working from home?

Feel free to give us a call at +61 2 8335 0858 to discuss how we can help you to secure your business against the cyber crooks. Follow Babette directly on LinkedIn to stay connected and get the latest tips on cybersecurity.

5 Strategies to Protect Your Debtors’ Ledger In Economic Uncertainty

The crisis is now as much economic as it is health-related. We are in uncharted waters, Coronavirus and the subsequent market uncertainties have resulted in various insolvency changes – and extremely challenging business conditions.

Even once the COVID -19 pandemic is under control, we will most likely suffer from an economic hangover that will be longer-lasting.

It is not all ‘Doom and gloom’, some industry sectors might have experienced a positive surge in demand, e.g. manufacturers that strengthen the local supply chain; and there are great examples of companies who have successfully pivoted to adjust their product- and service offering to newly created demands.

Yet, overall, it is difficult to see which industry sectors will be unaffected.

This leads me to the following questions: 

  • Are you worried about some of your customers’ financial situations?
  • Have you experienced late payments or the request to change payment terms mid contract?
  • Do you have an insight into your customers ‘ net worth and liquidity, their spread of risks and dependency on major clients?

Your Credit Manager might have been knocking on your door more often, to discuss the above questions.  It is vital to control and gain an early insight into potential payment issues especially for your core clients.

To ensure you get paid, I recommend focussing on the following five strategies:

  1. Knowledge is power. A review of your debtors’ ledger can be a vital first step to allocate the appropriate credit limit or payment extension to your clients. By reviewing your customers, you will get a comprehensive understanding of which companies pose a credit risk to your business.
  2. Support your clients but define the limits. Talk to your customers that are slow payers to understand how they have been managing the crisis. If they are in an industry that was doing it tough prior COVID-19, you need to know if they have the capital strength to continue after the government supports payments will cease. If you agree to a payment plan, ensure that the client is following the plan demonstrating their side of the commitment.
  3. It is not going to get easier. If your clients are using COVID-19 just as an excuse not to pay you, I recommend to take stock of what you are owed as there is less likelihood of getting paid once the government payment support has ceased.
  4. Limit uncertainty through insurance.Consider transferring the risk of non-payment to your trade credit insurance cover. Experts are warning about an avalanche of insolvencies from late 2020 to mid-2021. Now is the time to reassess if trade credit insurance could be right for you to maintain revenue, protect your balance sheet from bad debt or to secure access to bank funding. 
  5. Gadgets for your credit team.Support your credit management team with a subscription to a technical platform that makes it easy to manage credit applications, PPSR registration and that provides credit monitoring and credit alerts in a comfortable dashboard view.  The speed of access to crucial information will be worth it.

At DAS Insure. We stand ready to assist with any question or queries you might have to safeguard your cash flow during COVID-19 and in the aftermath, which will expose the economic impact.

 I also gladly share our experience with clients from your industry and provide references, case studies to better demonstrate how we might be able to support your credit management team.

Please feel free to contact me directly on my mobile at 0431 404 302 or call my office at 02 8335 0858 to organize a brief discovery meeting via Zoom or phone call. 

Stay Safe, Stay Positive,

Warm regards,

Babette Bottin

Director of DAS Insure Pty Ltd

Risk Management Solutions for Trade Credit, Surety and Cyber.

Important Note: Financial decisions require careful consideration of your circumstances and risks – among other things. Any non-personalised notes should be considered general information. General information is not tailored to your individual needs. You should seek the advice of a financial advisor, your accountant or talk to a credit insurance broker for your individual needs.

EXPLORING OPPORTUNITITIES IN ASIA

A medium sized company in the dairy industry wants to explore better growth opportunities overseas. Asia in general and China in specific are of interest, due to the high demand of Australian produce, which is renowned to be clean, healthy and safe (think of the infant milk powder scandal in China). With no knowledge of the specific markets, a difficult market to gain access to current financial information on potential buyers and no capacity to have credit management present in the country, they are hesitant to trade on open terms. This puts them behind their aggressive competitors. In addition, the uncertainty of their rights in an unknown market and what to do in case of a non- payment, slows down their trade flows as they are only accepting advance payments and in some cases, letter of credits ( which require guarantees and are only ‘transaction by transaction’).

Cost control is vital to them as any SME as well as profiling a healthy customer portfolio. To gain a competitive advantage and to enable safe trading they consider outsourcing their risk monitoring and management to external providers.

By taking out trade credit insurance, our dairy exporter is now able to trade on an open account, according to a credit limit underwritten by a credit insurer. Their Chinese buyers can buy up to a certain limit while the transaction is protected by the insurer against non –payment. Our exporter is acting like a bank to those buyers, thus allowing for more and faster trade flows.

By mitigating their commercial risk of non-payment through an insurance solution they are protecting their cash flow and have gained better budget control (the known cost of premium versus the unknown cost of a loss). Their access to real time market insight allows them to offer more competitive terms supporting faster growth with the most valuable clients. In addition they are covered for non-payment due to unforeseen events like natural disaster, shortage of currency or government intervention.

From Expert to Expert: Let’s work together……so you can get on with your business and let us ease you worry about getting paid.

DAS INSURE. – Insurance Solutions for Your Peace of Mind!

HOW THE HANJIN CRISIS IS EFFECTING ALL OF US

How the Hanjin Crisis unfolded:
At the time of bankruptcy filing on August 30., Hanjin Shipping had about 80 ships at sea with at least 500,000 containers on board. In total, Hanjiin owed around 6.03 trillion won (US$ 5.3 billion) to arrange of secured and unsecured debtors. As overcapacity in large vessels depressed freight rates and Hanjin’s debt piled up, creditors led by the state-owned Korean development Bank (KDB) refused to extend terms of the debt Hanjin owed

The collapse of the world’s seventh largest fleet, South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Company will have a ripple effect throughout Global trade. The Hanjin Crisis will ‘hit home’ causing headaches for importers and exporters. Companies are gearing up for the Christmas spending season, retailers and online shoppers order ahead for the festive season. Any disruption to the supply chain means items ordered are sitting in containers unable to be unloaded, importers are potentially missing contractual obligations with retailers and have to pay additional costs with direct stevedore payments to unload and transport the goods.

“Hanjin Shipping lost the game of chicken played among large shippers,” Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho told the hearing.
“As a private company, we felt the limit of participating in a dumping war and asked for support, but I failed to convince,” Cho told lawmakers.

Hanjin is now under a court order to sell its own ships and broken up as part of a restructuring plan. Once the fire sale for the assets of Hanjiin Shipping Co.’s Asia -U.S. route is completed, it will be reduced to the 10th of its size. All but three of the remaining 14 ships are either stranded or have been seized over unpaid bills.

It is doubtful that unsecured creditors will recover any money. The effects of the Hanjin crisis will be felt by many industries not only the shipping industry and service providers to them- from exporters to importers to retailers and ultimately to consumers, therefore we will all be paying the price.

How we can help:
Trade Credit insurance protects your cash flow in unexpected insolvencies like Hanjin – ensuring you will get paid whereas uninsured creditors will be hit hard. Hanjin will lead to more insolvencies. The domino effect will be felt by small to medium sized companies who could be pushed into insolvency themselves.
Here is an example to demonstrate the severity of a loss.

To make up for a loss of 100.000 $ at a profit margin of 10% you will need an additional one million in turnover. Just to get you back to where you started.

Talk to us today how we can secure your cash flow and your hard earned profits.
To read more about the Hanjin Crisis also go to:

http://bloom.bg/2fNKxzo
http://fortune.com/2016/10/04/hanjin-shipping-chair-game-chicken-competitors/
https://exportcouncil.kontribune.com/articles/7715
IN-CRISIS-case-of-arrested-ship-Hanjin-California-now-at-key-turning-point-538190.html

CYBERSECURITY NOW. LOST DATA – LOST TRUST.

CYBERSECURITY is one of the leading risks for businesses in Australia with estimated costs to the Australian economy of more than $3 billion a year.

CYBERSECURITY IS NOT JUST A ‘TECHNICAL ISSUE’, BUT A ‘BUSINESS ISSUE’ AS A CYBER ATTACK COULD POTENTIALLY LEAD TO A BRAND AND REPUTATIONAL ISSUE WITH EFFECTS ON THE BOTTOM LINE.
The threats are the same regardless of size, industry and type of organisation – no one is immune.

In 2016 alone have been several high-profile breaches including LinkedIn, The Australian Red Cross, financial messaging system SWIFT and various governmental organisations. Most Australians witnessed the Denial of Service Attacks on the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Census Day.

The Australian Government estimates almost 700,000 businesses have experienced a breach in cybersecurity. 60% of all of these attacks were targeted at small to medium size businesses with the average cost of a cybercrime attack costing more than $275,000.

The cybersecurity threat is real, affecting local businesses through acts of ransom ware, payroll hacking, phishing and IP theft.

Australian businesses need to be more proactive, according to a recent board survey by Law firm MinterEllison:

44 per cent of organisations responded that the board is only briefed on cybersecurity issues annually or on an ad-hoc basis.
13 per cent had no briefings at all.
56 per cent refer to their IT department as the key responsible for cyber risk management, compliance and review activities.
ASIC Commissioner Cathie Armour recently said at the Sinet61 summit ‘..boards need to ramp up knowledge about cyber risks’.

The Australian Privacy Commissioner is pushing into a similar direction, changing the voluntary data breach notification scheme into a mandatory scheme. On 13 February 2017, the Australian Government passed the new mandatory data breach notification scheme. The bill amends the Privacy Act 1988 and is expected to commence in 2018.

No doubt that there is a lot to take on board, for organisations, business owners and directors alike

as the topic is complex and ongoing.
It requires different levels and areas of expertise, from inside and outside the organisation,
engaging staff as well as core suppliers.
Crisis plans have to be communicated and practised throughout the organisation.
This is where we at DAS INSURE. would like to assist you. We are highly specialised advisors in Risk Management and focus on Speciality Risks that can existentially threaten the existence of companies. We are Risk Consultants, Company Directors with a background in the Insurance and Finance Industry and look at the Cybersecurity from the perspective as company directors without an IT degree.

WE ARE OFFICIAL PARTNERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE STAY SMART ONLINE.

Stay Smart Online has a number of resources available to Partners to assist in raising awareness about the ways people and businesses can protect themselves online.

As a first step and valuable companion on your cybersecurity journey, we find this guide useful The Small Business Guide 2nd edition. This short guide was developed to help the owners and managers of small businesses to put in place some good cybersecurity practices.

Your business is your business—whether you’re in business or managing someone else’s business, you are responsible for its success. It only takes a few minutes to read through the five easy steps, which will provide you with the basics on how to protect the information entrusted to you by your customers and suppliers.

Download or view the printable version of the guide:

AT DAS INSURE. WE SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS ALL THE WAY

  • FROM A FIRST INITIAL CYBERSECURITY CONSULTATION,
  • TO AN IN-DEPTH CYBER RISK HEALTH CHECK AND
  • SUPPORT FOR BOARDS WHEN ESTABLISHING A CYBER RISK STRATEGY.
  • WE HAVE A NETWORK OF STRATEGIC PARTNERS WHO CAN COVER SPECIFIC AREAS OF EXPERTISE E.G. BIG DATA ANALYSIS, PCI COMPLIANCE OR LEGAL ADVISE
  • AND ALSO PROVIDE GUIDANCE ON THE PRO’S AND CON’S TO TAKE OUT CYBER INSURANCE CYBER RISK INSURANCE.

OUR FOCUS INDUSTRIES ARE LOGISTICS, MANUFACTURING AND EXPORT. WHEN CONSULTING BOARDS ON CYBERSECURITY, WE INCLUDE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK INTO SPECIFIC TYPES AND FREQUENCY OF CYBER ATTACKS THAT ARE LIKELY TO OCCUR IN THESE INDUSTRIES.
‘THE HUMAN ERROR’ FACTOR IS STILL ONE OF THE WEAKEST LINKS IN THE CYBERSECURITY CHAIN. TALK TO US TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SEMINARS, RANGING FROM STAFF AWARENESS TRAINING TO INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS UP TO BOARD LEVEL.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Babette Bottin, GAICD, Director and Founder of DAS INSURE. to organise an initial and confidential consultation.

You can contact Babette via mail babette.bottin@dasinsure.com or call 02 8335 0858 to get in touch.

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