November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016 | Media Releases

Australian SME’s are increasingly conscious of cyber risks but lack readiness

Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more aware than ever of the threat of a cyber breach and the resulting reputational damage but by their own omission, the majority are not doing enough to protect themselves, according to Zurich Insurance Group’s (Zurich) fourth annual global SME survey.

Australian SMEs are the victims of cybercrime, with business security shortfalls making small businesses more attractive than ever to cybercriminals. Survey data reveals the greatest concerns caused by cybercrime that can be proactively mitigated against are; damage to reputation (31.5%), theft of customer data (26.5%) or money (15.5%) and business disruption (14.5%).

Callum McMillan, National Commercial Manager for Financial Lines for Zurich in Australia elaborates: “Approximately 97 per cent1 of all businesses in Australia are small businesses and it’s encouraging to see SMEs beginning to appreciate the potential severity of cyberattacks, however greater business resilience is needed. The results of our fourth annual SME survey highlights that SMEs are not fully aware of the potentially devastating impact cybercrime could have on their business. “Flourishing small businesses, by their very nature, are innovative and original making them attractive to those interested in customer data and also to hackers pursuing larger organisations through their contractor relations. “The Federal Government estimates that cybercrime costs Australian businesses over one billion dollars a year. Interconnectivity has increased with 84 per cent2 of SMEs online and one in two3 of SME businesses receiving some form of payment online. It is therefore in the best interests of brokers and the insurance industry to proactively assist SMEs to protect themselves from cyberattacks.”

Zurich’s global survey polled 2,600 C-suite executives and managers of SMEs across 13 countries including Australia. The overall results revealed the number of SMEs concerned by the impact of cybercrime has almost tripled since 2013 (11% vs 4%).

DigitalResolve is available to customers through Zurich’s Security and Privacy Protection Policy and also SME customers through Zurich’s Management Liability Insurance Commercial Policy (with the optional cover section – Cyber Security and Privacy).

  1. Australian Government, Treasury, National Small Business Statistics
  2. Sensis e-Business Report 2015
  3. Australian Government, Australia's Cyber Security Strategy, 2016

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 54,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at

For further information contact:

Joshua Clements

Head of Communications - General Insurance,
Zurich Financial Services Australia

+61 2 9995 1368
+61 401 406 305