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Cybersecurity: Make prevention your endgame

Cybersecurity: make prevention your endgame

A recent study commissioned by IBM Resilient and conducted by the Ponemon Institute1 surveyed 11 countries and found Australia to have the biggest increase in cyber security incidents over the past 12 months.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) recently published the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme 12‑month Insights Report2. For the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, the scheme recorded 964 data breach notifications — a 712% jump from the previous year, during which reporting was voluntary rather than mandatory. 68% of data breaches are attributed to cybercrime via phishing, malware, ransomware, brute-force attacks, compromised credentials and other forms of hacking. Most cases had an element of human error which contributed to the breach such as a phishing attack in which an employee would click on a link in an email that caused malware to be downloaded.

Australians lost almost half a billion dollars to scammers according to the ACCC’s Targeting Scams report3 released in April 2019.

Here are some steps4 you can consider to better protect your business and yourself:

  1. Hover over the ‘from’ address and links in unexpected and suspicious emails. Take note of domain (the details after the ‘@’ symbol). Do a search in your web browser to validate the credentials of the sender before you reply or click on links
  2. If you receive an unexpected email, contact the person or business through offline methods to validate the message before you click on any links. It is much safer to use contact details you have for the business or get this from the legitimate website of the business than follow links in an unsolicited email
  3. Check with your software solution provider to know if you can set up multi-factor authentication to strengthen your security
  4. Be sure to always update all software and applications on personal devices you may use at work
  5. Consider the type of information you share in the course of your day. You can find out “How privacy savvy are you?” by taking the OAIC’s Privacy Awareness quiz

For any business, data integrity is critical. Managing your customers and employees personal data requires accountability and excellent processes – with business process automation to help ensure easier adherence to your standards. This can include using business management software such as Pronto Xi to increase compliance with internal policies, such as security – as well as with industry legislation. You can also easily limit access to data, ensuring only the people who have your authority can see the data.

Fostering a workplace culture where security is an organisational priority and empowering your employees with the tools to improve security helps you maintain the trust of your customers. This commitment then becomes a strong differentiator for your business.

 

References:

1 www.afr.com/business/legal/australian-business-cyber-failings-at-crisis-levels-ibm-20190422-p51g40

2www.oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/privacy-act/notifiable-data-breaches-scheme/quarterly-statistics-reports/notifiable-data-breaches-scheme-12-month-insights-report

3www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/scams-cost-australians-half-a-billion-dollars

4www.staysmartonline.gov.au/protect-yourself/protect-your-stuff/email

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