Protecting your business from cyber threats

Gloved hands typing on keyboard representing hacking

Several recent high-profile cyber attacks might have highlighted the growing threat malicious hackers pose to Australian businesses, but sadly, cybercrime incidents have been on the rise for years.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre received over 76,000 reports of cybercrime over the 2021-22 financial year, the equivalent of one report every seven minutes, and an increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year.

The most common crimes reported to the ACSC were online fraud, which accounted for 27% of all reports, followed by online shopping (14%) and online banking (13%).

While ransomware attacks made up less than 1% of the total, ASCS said it “remains the most destructive cybercrime threat” because of its dual impact – with businesses facing both disruption and reputational damage if stolen data is released or sold.

There’s a financial cost, too, with ASCS reporting the average cost of an attack was more than $39,000 for small businesses.

So if your business has an online presence, you can’t afford to ignore the real risk of cybercrime. But where should you begin?

How to improve cybersecurity in your business

Fortunately, protecting your business from cybercrime needn’t be expensive as there are several quick wins you can take to mitigate against the risk. These include:

  • Regularly backing up your business’ data – so you can quickly recover it should there be an incident
  • Keeping software up-to-date – as hackers may exploit security vulnerabilities in older versions
  • Installing security software such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam filters – and making sure they are turned on and updated regularly
  • Using multi-factor authentication where possible – which requires you to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to your account, such as a password and a separate code sent to your mobile phone
  • Developing clear policies and procedures for your business and employees
  • Training your staff– so they can identify and avoid cyber threats
  • Treating unsolicited emails with caution – and never opening or clicking links in them
  • Considering cyber insurance – so your business is covered should the worst happen

What should you do if your business is under attack?

The first thing you should do is report the cyber attack to ASCS using their secure service ReportCyber.

If it’s a ransomware attack, ACSC advises against paying a ransom as payment does not guarantee your data will be restored or kept private. What’s more, paying a ransom only increases the likelihood of further ransomware attacks, putting other Australian businesses at risk.

Instead, follow ASCS’s guide on what to do if you’re held ransom.

NMC Finance can help you get cybercrime insurance for your business. Contact Nathan Coad on 0498 766 639 or to find out more.

* This blog is intended for general informational purposes only. For personalised advice tailored to your unique financial situation, please contact NMC Finance.

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