Just this week, one of our Sherpa Insurance customers lost A$70k in a cyber crime.


This is not just any cyber crime.


The cyber criminals did not steal the money.


The company voluntarily gave away the money.


It was devious

An email, was sent to the Finance Manager  – apparently from the CEO. The first email requested an urgent payment to a St George Bank account.  This was paid.

Ten hours later, a second email requested a further urgent payment be made to a NAB bank account. This was paid.

A further four hours later, a third email requested payment. This was questioned internally and not paid. It was too little, too late and $70k had already been lost.

NSW Police, St George Bank and NAB were alerted; however, there is little chance of any recovery.


It was considered

The CEO was in Europe at the time which brings with it time zone communication challenges. In addition, the language and tone of the emails were strikingly similar to that used by the CEO.

This was quite uncanny and this raised further concern that cyber criminals may have been “listening” to internal emails and social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


It was uninsured

Our customer is a professional, fast growing and successful business with highly skilled and competent staff throughout, but even they were duped.

They were not insured for a cyber crime. They were aware of the risks but did not believe this cover to be relevant to their business.

Since the cyber crime, our customer has a robust response plan including an external cyber health check, changes to internal controls and securing cyber crime insurance.


Next step

What is clear is that it can happen to any business.

Either through embarrassment or pride, we rarely hear of companies acknowledging they have been the victims of cyber crime.

Please consider this issue for your business.  We understand from cyber experts such as Andrew Bycroft, that this issue is more about people and process rather than technology.

We also understand that insurance has its role, particularly when things blow up.

At Sherpa Insurance, we have done considerable work in both the cyber liability and crime areas.

As one size does not fit all, and there is a lot of variation between policies, you need to take a considered approach finding the right insurance solution.


Comments are closed.