Over the past few years, cyber attacks have been on the rise in countries across the globe. Australia is no exception, with cyber attacks expected to cost the Australian economy $16 billion by the end of the next decade. In 2016, the Australian government released its Cyber Security Strategy in order to address the threat that cyber attacks pose to local businesses. The strategy aims to help businesses address problems with their online security protocols and to respond to potential threats. With proper security measures and professional IT support, Australian businesses can work to protect themselves against cyber attacks.
The Security Threats that Businesses Faces
There are countless reasons that cyber criminals might choose to attack your business – for profit, for information, or simply for entertainment. Several groups pose a security threat to all Australian business, big and small, including:
- Organized crime: Stealing and selling personal information has become a lucrative operation for cyber criminals, particularly when they’re able to glean vast amounts of customer data from companies. For example, in 2015, the outdoor clothing company Patagonia had sensitive data stolen from thousands of customers by cyber criminals.
- Foreign intelligence services: While businesses might not seem a likely target for government spies, intelligence services often target foreign businesses to glean intellectual property, R&D information, and sensitive economic information.
- Activist groups: Controversial companies may attract the attention of “hacktivists” and other issue-motivated groups, who use cyber attacks as a platform to smear companies and attract publicity.
The Impact of Cyber Attacks
Cyberattacks cause billions of dollars in losses each year. On a smaller scale, though, they can also cause irreparable damage to businesses. A cyber attack can ruin both your reputation and your bottom line. On top of litigation fees and lost revenue, you may also see increases in insurance premiums, fines, and other unexpected costs. A breach in your cyber security can also create a PR nightmare that will lose you loyal customers and even new business.
Protecting Against Cyber Attacks
It’s important to protect your business against online attacks by following security protocols. There are some important security practices that every business should practice when it comes to online operations:
- Safeguard your CMS using two-step authentication as well as antivirus software
- Secure your Internet connection by using a firewall and encrypting data
- Educate employees and establish standard security practices
- Require strong company passwords that are changed on a regular basis
- Use trusted and validated anti-fraud services when banking
- Control access to computers and Internet networks
These days, the success of a business rests largely on a reliable IT system. One of the best things that you can do for your growing company is to invest in professional cyber security to protect yourself, your employees and your customers from the threat of online attacks.
If you have concerns about your security infrastructure or simply want to check it’s as protective and robust as it can be, we can help. Give us a call and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
By: Jenny Holt