Cybercriminals are preying on you – are you protected?
February 19, 2020
According to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), the average cost of cybercrime to a business in Australia is around $276,000.
Australia is a highly connected country—technology and the internet are crucial to Australia’s way of life. This also poses a big threat – cybercrime!
At present Australian small businesses are reporting cybersecurity breaches at nearly twice the rate of their counterparts in the USA and that was before mandatory reporting commenced. Cyber incidents are occurring every 10 minutes costing Australian businesses $29 billion dollars each year.
In Australia, the term ‘cybercrime’ is used to describe both:
• crimes directed at computers or other information communications technologies (ICTs) (such as hacking and denial of service attacks)
• crimes where computers or ICTs are an integral part of an offence (such as online fraud, identity theft and the distribution of child exploitation material).
Responsibility for combating the different forms of cybercrime in Australia is shared between Australian Government agencies and state and territory agencies.
How does it impact your business directly?
Let us share a real-life example that, unfortunately, is happening more frequently.
It seemed like just another ordinary day for a small retailer. Little did they know that the simple click of an email link was about to threaten the entire business. One of the company’s employees received an email with a link to a seemingly benign catalogue. One click, and the company’s system was infected with a virus that affected accounting software, customer account files, including credit card numbers, customer names and addresses among other information. The accounting software and customer files did not live on the employee’s computer, it lived on the company’s network drive, so the virus was able to encrypt all 15,000 accounting and customer files.
A ransom demand soon followed, demanding $50,000 in exchange for a decryption key. It was discovered that the company’s backup systems had not been working for months, and with the virus proving impossible to remove without the loss of crucial company data, the company had no choice but to pay up. But the decryption key didn’t work. Business came to a standstill. The owner could not afford to pay to rebuild the network systems. Six months later the company closed its doors, strangled by lack of sales and cashflow.
Prevention continues to be better than a cure, with all businesses encouraged to seek appropriate advice from security professionals on how best to protect their businesses. However, even the most robust systems are prone to attack.
If the worst does happen, the insurance industry has also evolved to be able to cover many of the losses that may be incurred in the event of a Breach. Insurance Companies have set up expert IT Teams to swing into action and help get your business back on track.
Practical Steps that Businesses should consider to minimise the likelihood of an attack include:
- Keep your operating systems updated and regularly patched.
- Have a firewall plus software that opposes virus, spyware and phishing attacks.
- Keep your browsers updated at all times with the latest version of the software.
- Keep all system software updated.
- Encrypt your wireless network.
- Restrict software and set up administrative rights so that nothing can be installed on company computers without authorization.
- Use filtering that controls access to data.
- Block access to restricted sites with Internet filters to prevent employees and hackers from uploading data to storage clouds.
- Remove or disable USB ports so that malicious data can’t be downloaded.
- Implement strict password policies.
- Encrypt entire drives, folders and files
DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE TO MINIMISE CYBERCRIME HERE