New Zealand small businesses are lagging in their uptake of cyber protection compared with their Australian counterparts the Insurance Council of New Zealand reported today. Only 6% of SMEs in New Zealand have cyber insurance, compared with 14% in Australia, leaving many kiwis vulnerable to an attack. Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton said “big corporates get it, we are seeing a real move to most having a cyber policy or at least a standing item on their board agendas.” “The real problem area is NZ small-medium enterprises. We are a nation of small businesses with 90+% of businesses in NZ under 20 employees. The common sorts of crypto attacks are unsophisticated, untargeted and while low in dollar value – usually sub $5,000, enough to be an annoyance and damaging to a small business” he said. A recent Norton NZ small business security survey found 1 in 5 small businesses in New Zealand have been targeted by a cyber attack. 90 percent of cyber incidents begin with a human error in the organisation being attacked, which makes education about cyber risks and robust cyber risk management extremely important. Victims are also very often unaware that a cyber breach has occurred; it may be some years before a breach or its consequences are discovered. The average amount of time a breach goes unnoticed is around 9 months (240 days). This week is Cyber Smart week – New Zealand’s cyber security week.