· Cyber crime is on the rise, costing Australians more than $33billion in 2021
· Cyber attacks are a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’ – every business needs to put security practices and tools in place to protect itself
· The best place to start is by understanding your compliance requirements, security gaps and technology needs and building a roadmap to security
Every eight minutes, someone reports a cybercrime in Australia, according to the Australian Security Centre’s Annual Cyber Threat Report for 2020-2021 costing Australians more than $33 billion. And in the last 18 months, cyber attacks affected more than half of all Australian businesses – often with costly consequences.
Global meat processing company, JBS Foods paid $AU14.2 million in ransom to cyber criminals after a highly sophisticated attack affected its servers in North America and Australia. Forced to stop halt operations across two continents, the ransomware attack threatened entire food supply chains around the world.
And for JBS Foods, the costs went well beyond the ransom payment. Stopping operations for five days and forced to lay off staff temporarily, JBS’s operational and logistical costs would have been hard to swallow. And then there’s the cost of reputational damage.
As a global company with adequate resources, it was able to stop and resolve the attack – and secure its networks – within a week.
But for small businesses with a lack of resources and internal expertise, cyber security can be real challenge – and the consequences of a cyber attack can be devastating.
Putting a robust security framework and system in place can safeguard your operations and protect your customers and business from even more sophisticated attacks.
Here are four steps you can take to start your journey of making security a priority.
1. Understand your compliance requirements
Australian businesses that deal with data – which is most of them – may need to comply with a number of rules and regulations, such as the Privacy Act 1988, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards and the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme. Understanding your obligations is the first step in cyber security and to developing robust policies and procedures to help guide your teams.
Aligning your business to an industry standard like ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management can also give you the confidence that you have the basic security requirements covered.
The Australian Government’s Essential Eight mitigation strategies can be a great starting point in protecting your business.
2. Identify security gaps and vulnerabilities
Most people have a fence around their home – stopping strangers and unwanted guests from coming in, and keeping kids and pets for getting out.
But if your fence has a few gaps that you haven’t noticed, the kids could squeeze through. Or if it’s just a little too short, and a stranger can jump over, your home – and loved ones – might be at risk.
The same goes for your business and data. There might be hidden gaps in your cyber security that leave your data and operations vulnerable. So conducting a thorough security audit is important.
Start by mapping out your technology and identify any gaps in your security controls.
At Byte, we offer businesses a free security audit, because we know how important this step is in the process of developing an effective security system. You can book yours today here.
3. Map technology to your business needs
While it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the shiniest new technology on the market, it might not be right for your business need.
To work out the best solution for you start by outlining your overarching business problems and requirements from staff onboarding and payroll to marketing automation and productivity tools.
Do your research and identify technology that can help solve these. By investing time in finding the right solution, you’ll get the most value from your tech – saving money down the line.
4. Build a roadmap
When you’re building a fence to keep your family safe, you don’t start by going straight to the hardware store. First, you identify what the fence needs to do, what it will look like, how it will connect to your house and how you can make it easy to use. Then you work out the measurement and what materials you need. Then you hit the shops.
Your cyber security needs to take a similar strategic approach.
A security roadmap outlines how you’re going to implement your security project. It outlines your:
· Audit findings
· Tactics in reaching these goals
· Risk management plan
It makes sure your cyber fence addresses your business needs and is built to last. So you feel prepared for cyberthreats and can respond proactively rather than reactively to attacks.
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