Cybercrime is a certain risk, costing the Australian economy up to $1 billion annually.
However, irrespective of this, many organisations still believe they won’t be targeted.
Maybe you’re a small business; attackers would much rather spend their time going after a large corporation – right? This isn’t the case. Many small to medium organisations fall into the trap of thinking they haven’t got much that hackers would want to steal. Because of this, they don’t invest in cybersecurity, which makes them a target. Thus, instead of hacking one or two large businesses with incredibly secure networks, attackers will often steal from numerous smaller organisations that aren’t as difficult to breach.
But why would hackers want your company’s data?
When an organisation experiences a data breach, attackers can gain access to sensitive data such as trade secrets or private company documentation. They may also access your client’s personal information, which can be used in credit card or identity theft. In addition to this, your business’ data may be changed, erased or damaged, all of which can leave you legally liable for the fallout.
Technology is developing rapidly and, if you fail to update your digital systems and strategies accordingly, you’ll be exposing your business to data breaches. Cybercriminals are using increasingly advanced tactics, with automated attacks now letting them target thousands of small businesses in a short amount of time.
Cyber threats are a very real risk, but by taking strategic action, you can lower the chances of a cybersecurity breach and keep your business’ data safe and secure.
1. Be Aware of Phishing Scams
You’ve likely received many phone calls, emails and the like from “phishers” before. Whether they’re claiming to be your bank, congratulating you on winning a million dollars, or notifying you about a non-existent security breach, phishers are incredibly prominent in the digital space.
In their 2018 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey, PWC found that 48% of cyber attacks are from phishing, making this the most common type of cybersecurity breach in Australia.
By introducing email authentication technology, your organisation can block malicious emails and manage the threat of phishing more effectively.
It’s also important to ensure your staff members are fully aware of this danger and the techniques phishers will commonly employ to trick recipients. By providing cybersecurity training to your employees and educating them on the risks, you can lower the chance of hackers infiltrating your network.
As a general rule, be cautious of:
- Suspicious links and attachments in emails from unknown senders;
- Pop-up windows which may have harmful viruses or malware embedded in them;
- Emails or pop-up webpages that request personal or company information.
If the legitimacy of an email or the like is in question, gain assistance from your security contact.
2. Use Strong Passwords & Reliable Authentication Processes
While complex passwords may be difficult to remember, they’re absolutely necessary for keeping your digital data secure.
If your passwords are too straightforward, you’ll be giving hackers the opportunity to hack your company’s information with ease. Creating difficult, unique passwords that contain at least ten characters and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols is a relatively simple way to improve the safety of your data.
In addition to this, adding multi-factor authentication to certain sensitive network areas can also be beneficial. For instance, after they’ve entered their username and password, staff members may be required to take an additional step that verifies their identity. In many cases, users will need to enter a code that was sent directly to their mobile and that, after a particular amount of time, will expire.
3. Introduce an Information Security Management System
While investing in a quality security system may appear time-consuming and costly, it can keep your business stay protected against cyber attacks, which can be incredibly damaging.
It comes as no surprise that the financial and legal costs of a cyber breach can require notable time to resolve, while also being incredibly costly. Thus, those who integrate maintainable, effective management systems into their processes and, consequently, avoid a breach, will likely save significant funds.
Information security is detrimental and, if you’re yet to make it a priority, the time to act is now. By taking proactive action to combat cyber risks, you can keep your data safe and secure, all the while lowering your exposure to ransomware attacks.
For more information, or to speak to an experienced consultant, get in touch with our team of experts today. With extensive experience helping organisations integrate information security management systems, also known as ISO 27001, you can rely on our team to deliver practical, long-term solutions.