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Chubb Survey Reveals Significant Perception Gap in Cyber Awareness among Australia SMEs
Feb 13, 2019
“Some SMEs believe they are too small to be targeted by cyber criminals or any internal issues will not greatly impact them. In effect, they think they are “too small to fail”

60% of small businesses in Australia have experienced a cyber incident in the past 12 months.

Majority of data loss incidents are caused by internal factors.

SYDNEY – A survey conducted by Chubb of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Australia has revealed a significant perception gap in cyber awareness and preparedness among Australia SMEs. 

In the Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey released today, it is revealed that nearly two thirds (60%) of respondents in Australia believe they are less vulnerable to cyber incidents than their larger competitors; yet the majority of SMEs (60%) have experienced a cyber incident in the last 12 months. 

The findings also show that the majority of cyber incidents that occurred over the past year were mainly due to internal factors, such as business interruption from system malfunction and technical fault (27%), data loss through system malfunction and technical fault (23%), and human error (18%).

“Some SMEs believe they are too small to be targeted by cyber criminals or any internal issues will not greatly impact them. In effect, they think they are “too small to fail”. However, our own claims data highlights numerous small business compromises and ransomware events that are decimating the cash flow of small businesses,” said Andrew Taylor, Cyber Underwriting Manager, Chubb Asia Pacific. 

He continued, “In fact, smaller companies have a relatively larger exposure, as they face the same threats that larger businesses face but do not have the means to implement comprehensive protection, leaving significant risk uncovered.”

Overconfidence in managing a cyber incident
The Chubb survey, “Too Small to Fail?”, reveals that nearly all SMEs are confident in their ability to overcome a cyber incident. In Australia, 87% of the respondents believe they can overcome an incident, with more than half (56%) believing they can contain an incident within 12 hours. This seeming overconfidence is contradicted by other findings, namely:
  • 67% believe they are not aware of all the cyber threats they face. 
  • 30% of SMEs who experienced cyber incidents did not know which data files were affected

Cyber Insurance – a lack of understanding 

The survey also uncovered a lack of understanding from SMEs regarding cyber insurance with 59% of SMEs in Australia not fully understanding the insurance solutions available to them while 62% have never purchased cyber insurance before.

“Clearly, there is a need for more education about the value of cyber insurance. At Chubb, our value proposition is more than just the traditional ‘promise to pay’ – we offer enterprise-wide support solutions for the benefit of our Insured. That’s why we place emphasis on our preventive advice as well as our response support,” said Tim Stapleton, Senior Vice President, Cyber & Technology, Chubb Overseas General.

Visit Chubb’s website for more details:

About the Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey 

This report, Too Small to Fail? Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey, has been produced by Chubb in collaboration with YouGov. It is based on a survey of 1,000 respondents from Small and Medium Enterprises in three markets; 400 from Australia, and 300 each from Hong Kong and Singapore. Respondents comprised board-level executives (77%) and senior managers or directors below board level (23%) from SMEs with between 2 to 249 employees. The industries respondents belonged to are: Professional Services (22%), Manufacturing (17%), Retail & Hospitality (13%), Education (6%), Financial Services (6%), Healthcare (5%), Technology (5%), Media & Communications (3%); and other industries (23%)

About Chubb

Chubb is the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London and other locations, and employs approximately 31,000 people worldwide.

Chubb, via acquisitions by its predecessor companies, has been present in Australia for almost 100 years. Its operation in Australia (Chubb Insurance Australia Limited) provides specialised and customised coverages, including Business Pack, Marine, Property, Liability, Energy, Professional Indemnity, Directors & Officers, Financial Lines, Utilities, as well as Accident & Health insurance, to a broad client base. Chubb is a major insurer of many of the country’s largest companies. With five branches and over 600 staff in Australia, it has a wealth of local expertise backed by its global reach and breadth of resources.

More information can be found at

Media contacts
Robin Moore 
Chubb Insurance Australia Limited 
Grosvenor Place, Level 38, 225 George Street, Sydney NSW 
O +61 2 9335 3343    M +61 434 180 553 

Judith Bence
MHP Communications
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