Providing secure online interactions builds customer trust, protects your bottom line and maintains business continuity. The problem is that security is seen as a secondary concern when it should be front of mind, online crime is on the rise in Australia and around the world.
In the wake of COVID-19, consumers are spending and sharing more online and businesses are turning to new digital solutions to stay engaged with them. Combined with the mass shift to working from home have created an environment for criminals to exploit any gaps in security using known and new tactics.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) (the Australian Government’s cybersecurity agency) released a report on Cyber Security and Australian Small Businesses in 2020, which found that 62% of Australian SMBs surveyed had experienced a cybersecurity incident and that cybercrime is reported in Australia every 10 minutes.
Recovering from a significant cyber incident can impact business continuity to such an extreme that, if the attack doesn’t directly shut down your business, the time and money required to recover from the attack could. This means that cybersecurity is not a nice-to-have – it is critical to running a successful business.
Telstra Business Intelligence has created a report as well as recommendations for small businesses to help them understand and manage their risks. Their report outlines:
- An understanding of online threats and information about the kinds of valuable assets that need protecting in a digital environment.
- The fundamentals of security vulnerabilities to help you confidently engage with partners and service providers to best protect your business and customers.
- Cover the steps you need to take in the event of a cyber incident, so you know how to respond if something does go wrong
Managing Online Threats
According to IDCARE, Australia and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service, over 10,500 individual cases of cyber incidents were reported between June and August of 2020. “During COVID-19 we have seen a 40% increase in the volume of both individuals and organisations, big and small, impacted by cybersecurity issues and identity misuse,” says Moises Sanabria, IDCARE’s Head of Identity Security Operations Centre and Business Development Manager.
This means that it is critical to ensure you have a plan in place for the most common types of online crimes, such as identity theft, online shopping scams, business email compromise or scams and ransomware.
While this can seem like an extremely wide range of things to plan for it is better to start revising all security protocols and reviewing your security threats before they happen, not after. As they say, an inch of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
How To Create Prevention?
The first step is to think about security not as something you can buy and implement once, but as an ongoing, active change in behaviour to protect your business. Keyur from Microland agrees: “Enforcement of a good cybersecurity hygiene across your organisation is a continuous process and not a one-stop solution.”
Every business has a unique level of risk when it comes to online threats. But no matter your risk profile, it’s vital to take a proactive and preventative approach, rather than trying to repair the damage later. Because the effects of online crime are not just felt in your pocket, but also in your ability to meet your customers’ expectations around trust and security.
The first steps are to audit your information. This means looking at what kinds of information you store and then how it is stored. After this assessment is done look at multi-layered ways to protect that data. For example, including multi-factor authentication, a password manager and a secure VPN – will combine to keep you as safe as possible. Implementing basic, foundational defences like these can prevent a whole class of attacks.
To read the full report produced by Telstra Business Intelligence please download it here. For any specific concerns please get in touch. We are always happy to answer questions or review your current systems.