Given October was Cyber Security Awareness month, I thought it was a funny coincidence considering the recent hacking attacks at Optus and myDeal. This is certainly no laughing matter if you were caught up in the data and so it’s a great reminder to think about your security.
These recent incidents are just the tip of the iceberg with a significant amount of dodgy dealings going on at any given point in time in the world of cyber security. It clearly shows just how valuable your personal and financial information is. It isn’t just your bank accounts and identity details such as licence, passports and Medicare cards, but also financial identity information such as your tax file number or Directors ID that can be used for all sorts of misdeeds.
Some of us know more about cyber security than others, and for those who do, many of us still choose to ignore the risk. I bet more than half of those reading this article would have a password written down somewhere, or use their birthday or password123 as an easy to remember log in!
With enough pieces of the puzzle, any half decent cyber criminal can steal your identity.
For small businesses the risks increase again.
While these well publicised hacks have targeted large corporations with huge databases, the most at risk are small businesses that do not have the time or resources to invest in cyber security.
At a minimum, updating your apps and software to take advantage of their continual improvements to protect your data is vital. Turning on and using multifactor identification with these programs also helps protect your business.
Being thoughtful about who in your business you give access to what systems and data. The wider the access, the greater the opportunity for a breach.
Most businesses have suppliers and deal with paying invoices. Don’t be afraid to call any suppliers to double check their bank details and make sure the invoices are authentic.
But really, the greatest risk to any business, big or small, is the people. That’s right – it’s you! Take the time to educate yourself and your employees on how to prevent, recognise and report cybercrime.
Train your employees in cyber security basics, including updating their devices, securing their accounts, and identifying scam messages.
Lock it down, take some care, and have a healthy dose of scepticism because that email or text message or phone call may be a scam, even if it looks like it is legitimate.
Finally, a fantastic resource to help you with practical ways to protect your personal and business data and what to do if you are hacked, is the Australian Government Cyber Security site - Cyber.gov.au.
Stay cyber safe!
PRINCIPAL - BUSINESS SERVICES