The ACSC has issued a HIGH alert for businesses to adopt an enhanced cyber security posture
Earlier this year the ACSC earlier this year issued a HIGH alert and has reported an increase in cyber risks to all Australian businesses.
The cost of cybercrimes is rising with an 84% spike in scams since 2021. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and McAfee project estimate the economic damage is between $375 billion and $575 billion each year. On average, it’s around $445 billion.
Hackers and scammers are getting more ambitious and bolder in their attempts, targeting online activities to take advantage of people in all occupations and from all walks of life. It’s no longer only necessary to set security measures and forget about them. Preventative actions, multi-layered approaches and regular assessments are key to staying ahead.
6 Biggest Cyber Security Threats faced by Tasmanian Businesses
Cybersecurity attacks on businesses of all sizes have become more common in recent years. Attacks can occur when you least expect them and disrupt companies’ day-to-day operations. Cyberattacks are not only a threat to large corporations, but they’re also a threat to small and medium-sized businesses due to a lack of cyber security solutions. In light of this, businesses should invest in cyber security solutions to ensure the best possible protection.
Timely tracking or monitoring the constantly evolving cybersecurity threats is the key to ensuring your business data stays safe and secure. As cybersecurity threats continue to become sophisticated, it’s crucial to take the necessary precautions by assessing your company’s vulnerabilities and using the latest cyber security solutions. Here are some of the widespread cybersecurity threats businesses may face, that you should be aware of.
Phishing is one of the most frequent and serious cybersecurity threats involving deceiving people into downloading malicious software and is to blame for most data breaches. In most cases, it appears as a normal email with legitimate-looking attachments, links, logos, and business names. The email encourages users to take action, whether by clicking on a link or downloading an attachment. A clickbait subject line may be present in a phishing email. (1)
Phishing attacks are particularly harmful because they’re difficult to combat. Phishing utilizes social engineering to target employees. Fortunately, there are technological solutions to protect against phishing attacks, such as email security, that prevent phishing emails from reaching your employees or allow them to report suspicious emails. You can also protect your employees by providing regular awareness training on how to spot phishing scams and report them.
Malware is any form of malicious software, such as ransomware, spyware, worms, and viruses. When a person clicks on a malicious link or attachment, the malware is activated, resulting in the installation of harmful software. When malware is activated, it can block access to critical network components, install additional harmful software, steal data from the hard drive, and disrupt individual components.
Businesses can protect sensitive data by implementing superior cyber security solutions. A combination of endpoint protection solutions and web security is a sure-fire way to protect devices and employees from malicious websites and software.
Many companies fall victim to this form of malware. As such, it merits a section of its own in this article. Ransomware works by encrypting systems and networks. Once a ransomware attack occurs, it renders an organization’s systems or files inaccessible. One way to gain access is to pay a ransom fee to cybercriminals. (2)
Ransomware attacks have become more common in recent years, affecting large and small businesses. Implementing superior endpoint protection on all devices is the best way to thwart ransomware attacks. Additionally, it’s crucial to invest in an effective backup and recovery solution to secure critical business data in the cloud and help mitigate data loss.
Recent Cyberattack in Tasmania
The ACSC recorded a 15% increase in ransomware cybercrime reports in the 2020–21 financial year. Ealier in April this year, Tasmania’s largest private employer, pokies giant Federal Group, refused to pay a cyber hacker’s ransom demand when its systems were seized in April but it still cost the company millions of dollars. The casinos were forced to shut down gaming machines at Hobart’s Wrest Point and the Country Club in Launceston following the cyber incident.
Denial of service (DoS)
A denial of service (DoS) attack involves flooding a computer or network with traffic, rendering it unresponsive. A denial-of-service (DoS) attack is one of the oldest cybersecurity techniques, but it can be equally damaging to businesses of any size. (3)
These DoS attacks are more likely to target the web servers of large-scale organizations such as e-commerce and banking companies. In most cases, an attack entails flooding networks with massive traffic or sending malicious data such as bugs that can cause a system to crash. Regardless of the method, the objective of the attack is to take the network down.
Some ways to protect and prevent a potential DoS attack include monitoring and analyzing network traffic, fortifying the security posture with antivirus software and firewalls, and establishing a response plan that includes mitigation and recovery.
Structured query language (SQL) injection
Structured query language (SQL) injections are also prevalent, with the main objective of retrieving critical data from companies. Structured query language injection deficiencies can expose businesses to the risk of losing credit card information or password lists.
An SQL injection is a form of cybersecurity attack involving the insertion of malicious code into a server that utilizes SQL. Once infected, the server releases information. Hackers can easily carry out the attack by entering malicious code into the search box of a vulnerable website.
Some of the best defenses against SQL injection is utilizing parameterized statements and input validation.
When a hacker obtains login credentials from an employee, it allows access to critical business data. Today, compromised passwords typically happen if an employee enters their login credentials unknowingly on a fake website. (4)
Today, social engineering is a type of password attack that relies heavily on human interaction and frequently leads to people breaking security best practices. Obtaining access to a password database or guessing a password are other ways of infiltration.
Make it a point to use unique, difficult-to-guess passwords when creating them. Additionally, specific password guidelines should be implemented and adhered to by your employees to ensure the highest level of security.
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Today, businesses of all sizes face a variety of cybersecurity threats. Implementing superior cyber security solutions and regular awareness training for employees to keep them aware of evolving security threats and how to prevent them is one of the best ways for businesses to protect themselves against these threats.
Cyber Security for Tasmanian Businesses 2022
Cyber security is more important than ever for modern workplace due to the surge in hybrid working arrangements.
Thursday15 Sep 2022 I 12:00 – 1:00 PM (AEST)
Cyber-first Managed IT Services by Kaine Mathrick Tech
We will work closely with you to digitally transform your IT so it will drive growth and business results. Whether you are looking for all-inclusive or outsourced IT support, we provide the ideal blend of personalised service, fast response times, combined with the capacity and ability to meet the increasing demands of your business.
Our team will monitor and maintain your physical and virtual IT infrastructure and ensure the latest security and performance patches are up to date minimising any chance of downtime.
- “Must-Know Phishing Statistics: Updated 2022”, Source: https://www.tessian.com/blog/phishing-statistics-2020/
- “A practical business security framework to combat malware threat”, Source: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6280201
- “Denial-of-service attack-detection techniques”, Source: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/1580418
- “Report: 19% of business passwords ‘easily compromised’”, Source: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/report-19-of-business-passwords-easily-compromised/