Only 6 pct of New Zealand businesses insured against cyber-attacks

At least 108 New Zealand businesses are said to get hit by a cyber-attack every day.

However, many Kiwi business owners aren't aware of the risks and are unprepared for these attacks.

New Zealand Insurance (NZI) national liability manager Ryan Clark told The AM Show cyber-attacks are on the rise.

"You only need to think of the amount of data on the internet these days, there's always going to be a criminal looking to exploit that and profit."

Mr Clark said there are many misconceptions about the way cyber-attacks work, and most people don't realise this is an actual job.

"A lot of the people that attack work in nice offices with sales targets, they've got receptionists. It's not a teenager drinking Coke in a dark room."

Despite New Zealand small-to-medium businesses having the same number of cyber-attacks as Australia, only 6 percent of New Zealand businesses are insured - compared to 14 percent of Australian businesses.

A recent US study found that 60 percent of small-to-medium businesses that fall victim to a cyber-attack go under as a result.

Mr Clark said the average cost of an attack to NZI is $24,000, which involves getting a company back up and running, as well as protecting their reputation and business contents.

However, he said it's not unfamiliar for an attack to cost businesses $50,000 or $100,000, and that's without paying up.

"If you pay, you always run the threat that they'll come back and ask for more money. Ideally you do not want to pay the ransom."