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Cyber Attacks Cost Australian Businesses $7.8 Billion

A recent report from research firm Security In-Depth shows that Australian businesses are unprepared for cyber-attacks and hacking.

The report shows that since February 2018, reported cyber-attacks against Australian businesses have increased by over 700%. The results of these attacks vary. However, companies have reported massive financial losses, breaches of customer’s security and downtime on their websites.

An effective cybersecurity policy can significantly reduce the chances of a data breach

Almost 2,000 Australian businesses were surveyed for this report. Half of which said that they had no cybersecurity practices or systems in place. Furthermore, over 40% of these businesses did not train their staff to follow best security practices.

The report also revealed that over 70% of all data breaches in Australian businesses were caused by mistakes employees made. From this statistic, business owners can deduct that training staff to follow correct security protocol is more important than ever.

There are many ways human error can lead to sensitive data falling into the wrong hands:

  • Phishing scams – Phishing is the practice of sending illegitimate emails or messages to trick people into giving away personal information. Scammers will target businesses pretending to be from a legitimate source and obtain passwords, credit card information or access to internal information.
  • Insecure storing of data – More businesses are storing sensitive information of secure USBs and there is a good reason. When an insecure storage device is lost, it can fall into the wrong hands. The information on this device can then end up online or distributed by other means. We recommend using Ironkey flash drives to store any sensitive information on the go. This is due to their military-grade encryption and password protection.

A secure website is more important than ever.

In 2019, most small to medium-sized businesses will use a CMS (content management system) such as WordPress to operate their website. Although these systems are powerful and easy to use, incorrect use or insecure hosting can lead to hacks and exploitation.

We’ve worked with many businesses to secure their websites and here are some of the things we think are the most important to consider:

  • Limit login attempts – A “brute force” attack occurs when hackers attempt to login with endless username and password combinations. Eventually, the password is cracked and the site becomes accessible to the hacker or malware. By default, systems such as WordPress allow unlimited login attempts. By limiting login attempts (via a plugin or custom code), you can prevent these types of attacks.
  • Use a website anti-malware service – By adding security tools to your website, you can prevent hacks as they are happening and before any damage occurs. Our hosting packages come with powerful security software which scans your website, prevents loss of data and much more. Learn more about our website monitoring services.
  • Use an SSL certificate – An SSL certificate encrypts data that is sent to and from your website. This prevents it from being intercepted. You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate by looking for the small padlock icon next to the web address.

Protect your company’s intellectual property and research:

The theft of intellectual property is becoming a growing concern for Australian businesses. More foreign groups are attempting to steal this information because it allows them to gain years of research over a small period of time. Theft of research has been shown to be particularly common in the education, technology and healthcare sectors. However, anyone can be targeted.

More companies are using secure servers, secure storage and encryption to protect their sensitive information and research. These forward-thinking companies are also creating cyber-security policies to prevent sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.

Update your website’s security today!

Do you need help updating your website’s security? If so, we can help you. Our powerful web hosting services can significantly improve your website’s security. As part of our hosting package, you will gain access to:

  • 24/7 Website malware scanning
  • Automatic DDoS and hacking prevention
  • Website backups
  • Website optimisation for great page speed

and much more.

Feel free to contact us to learn more.

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