Keeping Cybercriminals from Attacking Your Business
Learn at least five strategies available to your Australian business for mitigating the risks presented to your company by cybercriminals seeking to hack you.
Cybercrimes affect all businesses, especially those in and around Melbourne. According to the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), the activities of cybercriminals cost the Australian economy upwards of $1 billion per annum. Damages caused by cybercrimes, according to the ACIC in connection with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, include:
- A loss of personal reputation and identity
- Lost business and employment opportunities
- An impact on both emotional and psychological well-being
These types of crimes look for vulnerabilities in a business’s data systems. Techniques such as phishing emails and malicious attacks allow those with ill-intent to invade your computer systems and expose sensitive data you seek to protect. It is your duty to understand the importance of protecting your customer’s identities and lowering the risks posed by cyberattacks.
There are at least five ways Australians businesses can mitigate their cybersecurity risks and prevent hackers and scammers from gaining unlawful access. These include:
- Establish a written strategic cybersecurity plan
- Test and evaluate the effectiveness of the cybersecurity strategy
- Partner with an outside managed IT services firm
- Reduce and/or eliminate all network vulnerabilities
- Educate employees about cybersecurity risks
Types of Cyberattacks Afflicting Australian Business
There are different types of cyberattacks that thieves employ to gain unlawful access to your data. Some of the more popular methods in use include the following:
- Phishing schemes
- Malware, including ransomware, spyware, and trojan horses
- Physical security attacks
- Exploiting a network’s insecurity
Phishing schemes are attempts by cybercriminals to gain access by sending out emails which direct a person to a fake website to gain information about that individual or the business, such as personal identification, banking information, and other sensitive and private data can be exploited by a criminal. Malware, in the form of software, applications, and sub-routines such as ransomware, spyware and trojan horses, can damage your computer systems, erase data, or simply remove your business’s information and hold it hostage until a ransom is paid.
Physical attacks are those perpetrated by individuals who gain access to a physical device (i.e. mobile devices, laptops, etc.) with access to your network. Any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your network’s security can easily be manipulated and exploited by a cybercriminal for their own gain.
Preventing Cybercrimes from Affecting Your Business
Businesses looking to protect their data and prevent cyber attacks must have a cybersecurity plan in place. Such a plan, whether developed internally with members of your IT team or in consultation with an IT solutions provider (such as Steadfast Solutions) should outline potential threats to your business and the security of your data, the impact such threats would have on your reputation and business opportunities, and disaster recovery plans in the case of an attack.
Networks should be properly secured and tested periodically to ensure that they are less vulnerable and susceptible to attack. Any all points of access to your data networks (both internally and externally) must be tested and all vulnerabilities reduced or eliminated. Finally, your employees must be educated about cybersecurity. This education should include an identification of the ways in which a cybercriminal can gain access and the steps they should take to reduce their risk of becoming part of a scheme to gain illegal access to your important business data.
Steadfast Solutions is a Melbourne based managed IT services company (with offices in Perth, Brisbane, and throughout all of Australia). Steadfast provides IT services to companies throughout Melbourne. Steadfast, with its years of experience providing IT solutions to businesses in and around Melbourne like yours, can help build the necessary protection you need to prevent cybercriminals, hackers, and scammers from causing damage to your customers.
Published on 25th December 2019 by Ian Brady.