Identifying weak spots in your business’ security

Next story

Between 2015 and 2016, almost 15,000 Australian businesses have been affected by cybersecurity incidents. Alarmingly, 418 cases involved systems of national interest. While these cybersecurity incidents can damage a business operation, it can also be extremely costly – as much as  a whopping $2.5 million each. Unfortunately, there is no “one model fits all” approach for businesses to protect themselves against the breadth of today’s cybersecurity threats. However, businesses of all sizes and industries can take precautions and start proactively protecting their organisation by identifying areas of potential weakness and harnessing the power to address these specific areas. Here are some essential points to help secure businesses and avoid financial loss:

  1. Embrace the knowledge of security experts
    It is vital to have available consultants or access to a security expert as and when needed. Embrace their knowledge and discuss your areas of concern openly with them for the best possible advice. Use them to help educate yourself and your team on the latest protective techniques to keep up-to-date and safe from current threats. 

  2. Empower the end user
    Using your staff to help combat cybercrime can be one of the most important steps to ensuring a secure business. Cybersecurity-educated staff will understand the dangers and can make a significant difference to how a business is able to protect itself, by being able to spot a phishing email or a compromised website. However, with 95 per cent of all security incidents being trigged by human error
    , it’s clear that this education has a long way to go. Educating employees on best practices and making employees feel like an integral part of the business’ security is integral to keeping the business safe overall. 

  3. Secure hardware and software
    Analysing the way data flows in and out of your company will help identify areas that need to be secured. It is important to install multi-layered security software at every endpoint and server. Additionally, a set documented procedure will help to keep infrastructure threat-free. 

  4. Safe-proof all virtual systems 
    Virtualisation is making businesses’ life a lot easier. But if you are going to host servers in-house, make sure the security settings are optimal, and the latest software is installed and patched for vulnerabilities. Don’t underestimate the potential of data stored insecurely - it can be highly valuable for attackers. 

  5. Be ransomware aware
    Australia is one of the most targeted countries for ransomware, which can put businesses in stressful situations financially and with customer relationships. Planning a timely and organised backup regime is the first step to preventing ransomware attacks. Educating staff about how to spot ransomware and how to respond can also help along the way. And again, if in doubt, professional help is always recommended. 

  6. Put policies in place for employees working out of office
    With 51 per cent of the Australian workforce using the internet to work away from the office, business environments are changing. Although it makes operations easier and in most cases is necessary, working outside of the office can open up your network to potential abuse, lost credentials, insecure Wi-Fi connections and/or social media account hacking.Put a strong policy in place and let employees know of what it is and isn’t safe to do outside of work. 

Businesses can be easily overwhelmed with how they should properly secure their team and assets. But with basic knowledge and planning, combined with expert advice and guidance, they can overcome cybersecurity threats and prevent attacks from happening at all. Remember that investing in the right security plan with the right tools will always be more cost-effective than no plan at all.