Why Cybersecurity Should be a Business Priority

At its core, cybersecurity is about risk.  How much risk is a company willing to take?  Companies may forego a security system if their offices are in a low-crime area, but they will insist on locking all windows and doors before closing.  Why take the chance when a low-cost solution such as locks can minimise risk?  

The same concept applies in a virtual environment.  Unfortunately, there is no low-crime area in the digital world.  It is estimated that a hacker attempts a cyberattack every 39 seconds.  If the breach is successful, it will be active for 206 days before it is identified and it will take another 73 days before it is contained.  That doesn’t include associated costs that can span up to three years, bringing the total cost to between $200,000 and $3.6 million.

Assessing Risk

Given that a cyberattack is attempted every 39 seconds, it’s only a matter of time before a business becomes a target.  The question is whether the company can protect its virtual assets and thwart an attack.  Data breaches, ransomware attacks and business email compromise (BEC) scams are three of the most common threats.  Understanding these threats can help organizations assess their risk.

Data Breach

The Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reported that 61% of data breaches in the first six months of 2020 were criminal attacks.  Although companies may not believe their data is of significant value, hackers can combine information from multiple sources to steal an identity or access accounts.  Companies within a supply chain can be used as gateways to larger organisations.

Data breaches can be costly if the breach is the result of a failure to comply with government or industry regulations.  Fines are often assessed.  Most businesses that suffer a breach lose customers and experience a decline in their reputation.  Any of these factors can place a company at risk.

Ransomware

Ransomware attacks lock a target’s computer and demand payment to restore access to data.  It is spread through email attachments, compromised websites and infected software.  Ransomware attacks against businesses have increased by 13%

Across the globe, healthcare facilities are experiencing an uptick in ransomware attacks.  CyberWatch Australia reported hackers exploited a vulnerability at the Düsseldorf University Hospital to prevent personnel from accessing data.  As a result, patients had to be diverted to other facilities.  For one woman, the diversion proved fatal as she was unable to receive life-saving treatment.  Such events can be disastrous for an organisation’s reputation and customer trust.

BEC

Using email, BEC scams convince companies to transfer funds to a fraudulent account.  The scam begins with a compromised or spoofed email account that allows access to a company’s network.  Hackers browse the system until they find enough information to submit a payment request from what appears to be a legitimate vendor. 

When hackers submit the invoice, they include a new account number for the funds.  The theft is discovered when the legitimate vendor asks for payment, and the company realises the error.  Wired funds are difficult to recover, especially when they are immediately transferred to other accounts.  Companies risk significant financial losses if they are not protected from BEC scams.

Mitigating Risk  

Companies need a cybersecurity team with the expertise to address all aspects of cybersecurity.  They can build an in-house team, or they can partner with a managed IT security provider (MSP) to deliver a comprehensive solution.  Partnering with an MSP gives an organisation access to qualified cybersecurity experts with the knowledge that only comes from experience.  Why not book a free 30-minute consultation or request a free assessment?

An MSP can help mitigate a company’s cybersecurity risk by monitoring its infrastructure for vulnerabilities.  An MSP can help with disaster recovery plans and data backups to ensure an organisation can be up and running as quickly as possible.  Contact us to learn more about our managed IT security services.

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