Ten ways to protect your business from cyber attacks
The recent cybercrime statistics present alarming figures that all business owners should consider, with a staggering 75% surge in ransomware attacks during the 2021/2022 financial year. Additionally, studies identified up to 200,000 vulnerable routers in Australian homes and small enterprises
According to the latest annual report from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), businesses categorised as medium-sized (employing between 20 and 199 individuals) are most susceptible to cyber-attacks. The average cost of an attack on such firms is estimated at a whopping $88,407. Can you afford that risk?
While these numbers are scary, businesses can adopt numerous proactive measures to mitigate risks and, in case of an attack, minimise its impact. Continue reading to learn more.
First and foremost, you should develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that is routinely reviewed and updated. This plan should steer the company’s efforts in adopting the latest cyber risk mitigation tactics. ACSC suggests implementing eight security controls to deter attacks, providing a solid framework for cybersecurity actions.
The measures involve revoking network administration privileges from employees who do not need them and establishing multi-factor authentication protocols for network access. Further elaboration on these steps is provided below.
Strengthen Internet Connections
Ensure that all connection points between your business and the public internet, including file-sharing tools, remote desktop applications, and webmail services, are fortified against potential hacker infiltration. Partnering with experienced IT professionals can be beneficial during this phase.
Enhance Device Security
All devices commonly used by your team to connect to the company network, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, need to be secured accordingly. This step ensures that these devices don’t become vulnerable entry points for cybercriminals.
Activate Automatic Software Updates
Staying on top of all your work devices, applications and software updates can be hard while you’re trying to run a business. By utilising recommended antivirus and anti-spam software solutions, alongside intrusion detection systems, you can automatically shield your business from viruses and spam. Ensure that your system regularly applies patches and updates automatically to deter any emerging threats.
Configure Automatic Data Backups
To prevent criminals from accessing and deleting backups in the event of an attack, we strongly recommend regularly backing up data to offsite servers that aren’t directly linked to your business network. This strategy ensures that you can quickly recover important company data and reduce costly downtime in case of an attack.
Turn On Multi-Factor Authentication
Implementing stringent protocols, such as multi-factor authentication and mandatory periodic password updates, makes it highly challenging for cybercriminals to access your systems. Passwords should incorporate a blend of letters, numbers, symbols, and cases for enhanced security. Passphrases (a sentence-like string of words) can be an even better strategy as they are easy to remember and hard for hackers to crack.
Audit External Partners
Regularly assess the cybersecurity protocols of external parties, like suppliers, to detect and address vulnerabilities that hackers might exploit to breach your systems remotely.
Conduct Quarterly Staff Training
Regular staff training is a great way to ensure that everyone in your business understands the significance of cyber security and stays up to date with new business protocols. Organise quarterly training sessions to educate employees about the latest threats and simulate scenarios to identify those susceptible to phishing attacks.
Respond Swiftly to Threats
The longer a hacker has unauthorised access to your system, the more damage they can cause. Enable the quick lockdown of systems and prevent further misuse by criminals by establishing strict protocols that facilitate prompt immediate action.
Invest in Cyber Insurance
Within Australia, Cyber liability insurance provides compensation for specific financial damages stemming from cyber-related events. If your business relies on computers, online systems, applications, or software to facilitate operations, we strongly suggest obtaining Cyber Insurance. This proactive step can shield you from cybercriminal activities’ severe consequences and expenses. Talk to us today for your peace of mind.