0800 646 994

CASE STUDIES

AFFILIATED INSURANCE BROKERS

It was early morning, Gareth Knight dashed into the office to pick something up before heading out to a meeting in London. He looked around and felt something wasn’t quite right. All the computers in the office were gone!

His workplace had not only been robbed of vital equipment, but the company’s data was now in the hands of a stranger. The stuff of nightmares, right?

Fortunately, all the equipment was found and returned with the data untouched.

But Gareth took that terrifying experience in the UK and ensured that as General Manager of Affiliated Insurance Brokers Ltd in NZ, data safety is at the forefront of everything they do as a business.

When taking over Affiliated, Gareth and his team needed the best-of-the-best to safeguard their company from present and future attacks. They turned to Ohnyx for help.

Ohnyx and Affiliated went on a cyber-security journey to put processes, resources, and tools in place so that whatever the cybercriminals threw at them, they would be prepared.

Firstly, Ohnyx needed to examine the types of threats Affiliated were exposed to. We spoke with Gareth from Affiliated to find out more about his experiences.

 

What are the online data threats Affiliated Insurance Brokers Ltd has faced?

The security threats we experience are like every other business – spam emails, phishing and malware attacks, and stolen passwords.

Until recently, spam emails have been somewhat easy to spot. But they are becoming much more sophisticated. You can no longer rely on spotting an obvious, poorly worded spam email from a faraway country.

With the evolution of spam emails and attacks, it’s important to stay on top of online security by educating the whole team on how to spot the dark, sinister side of the internet.

Recently, In August ’22, Affiliated held a cyber risk management session at their company conference. Unfortunately, not everyone could attend. Wouldn’t you know it, the next week, an employee who couldn’t attend the conference was targeted by cybercriminals! They were sent an email that seemed legitimate. A link was attached, and they were asked to enter an email and password. Thankfully, because the employee notified another colleague, it was identified as a scam email.

The impact of this was that passwords and login details had to be changed. But the damage could have been much worse if it hadn’t been caught in time. Something small and innocuous can turn into a huge inconvenience and financial burden if you don’t have the right systems and education in place. 

 

What would the loss or breach of data mean to the business?

As insurance brokers, we advise people on risk management daily and are very conscious of practicing what we preach. We focus on business continuity planning and data management, and it is an essential aspect of our business. If we lose data, it could be potentially catastrophic for our clients and us.

Lost data could be the difference between a claim being paid out or not, which could mean financial disaster for a client. For us, it has the potential for significant reputational and financial damage, so it’s essential that we get it right.

A former colleague, some years back, had a data breach and lost six months of emails, only to discover that none of them were backed up. Imagine losing six months’ worth of communication and data.

It’s not only about keeping the business safe; it’s also about understanding that individuals can be targeted as well. It can be hugely demoralizing for the individuals who are duped by cybercriminals. There is a sense that they have let the business down, which can weigh
heavily.

That’s why it’s crucial that as a team we know the security threats and have a system to back us up.

 

What triggered your need to work with Ohnyx?

When we took over the business, we realised we needed to update the IT and security system immediately.

There was a local drive backing up data and they were not backing up to the cloud. The reserve backup drive was in a nearby building. But we couldn’t completely control security of the premises and who could potentially access our back-up data. We also had to factor that
we lived and worked in the Wellington region. We are at risk of earthquakes; what if we couldn’t access either premises for days or weeks?

We interviewed several IT companies and found Ohnyx to be the most engaging and suitable company for our requirements. Not only were they approachable but they were consistently engaged and were able to provide solutions to meet our security concerns.

We didn’t want to rely entirely on cloud storage and Ohnyx understood our reasons. They came up with a hybrid system for us that allows us access to our data with minimal interruption of services and remote working.

When Covid hit, we were already ahead of the game. We had set up a system that would work perfectly in a remote working situation, and we were able to continue seamlessly.

This was worth its weight in gold.

 

What tools and resources did Ohnyx use for cyber-security support?

We have always used a Microsoft suite, but when we upgraded to Microsoft 365 Business Premium with Ohnyx, we realised how resilient it was compared to previous versions.

We often find that many of our clients rely on large third-party suppliers such as Microsoft to back up their emails and data, with no real appreciation of how quickly this can be restored and how far back. With Ohnyx and Datto, we were able to go one step further and back up all our files and emails, so we can be confident that they can be restored quickly and efficiently.

The tools, resources, and processes Ohnyx implemented through Microsoft 365 Business Premium gave our company peace of mind when threatened with cyber-attacks. It was so important to us from the beginning that we start our security journey on the right foot, Ohnyx exceeded our expectations with how diligent and understanding they were with our vision.

 

Hypothetically, let’s say a hacker stole your business/client data.

You’re then presented with an ultimatum –
‘’you’ll get your data back for $25,000, or I’m publishing it online.”

If you don’t pay, it’s a PR/business/client relationship nightmare, and your reputation is damaged. If you pay, then you’re down a chunk of change. Scary hypothetical, right?

Back to reality. Covid has forced many of us into hybrid work where we are interchanging between personal and office devices. This change in our work environment makes us more vulnerable to clicking on malicious links, ignoring cyber security updates, and sharing sensitive information through emails. Scary reality, right?

Whether you’re in the office or at home, your company is all in together when it comes to online security.

 

SO, HOW CAN WE HELP?

Ohnyx has partnered with Microsoft 365 Business Premium, so we can offer any company peace of mind when threatened with cyber-attacks. M365 Premium runs smoothly across all company endpoints, including mobile devices, allowing your team to concentrate on their day-to-day business activities and leave the security and protection of your data up to us.

SECURITY THROUGH MICROSOFT 365 BUSINESS PREMIUM

  • Ability to manage access to employee’s computers if they’re lost or stolen
  • Run organisation in the cloud
  • Manage devices
  • Protect against real-world threats
  • Provide the latest in business software
  • Tools to update, manage and protect, including devices employees bring to work