43% of cybercrime targets smaller businesses; that’s the warning issued in a newly released Australian Government pamphlet.
Published by the ASBFEO (Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman), the pamphlet is titled ‘Get Cyber Secure - Three Quick Steps to Serenity.’ The document is designed to raise awareness of cybercrime and help small businesses achieve better cybersecurity preparedness.
Antivirus Isn’t Enough
In a press release accompanying the publication of the new ASBFEO cybersecurity guide the Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said:
“Following the WannaCry and Petya ransomware campaigns that caused havoc globally in 2017, 22% of small businesses breached by the attacks were so affected they could not continue operating. 60% of small businesses that experience a significant cyber breach go out of business within the following six months. Small businesses cannot afford to be complacent about cybersecurity.”
The new pamphlet encourages businesspeople to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity: regular data backups; up-to-date patching of applications; strong passwords; and multi-layered protection.
The pamphlet also states that the majority of businesspeople believe that anti-virus software provides adequate protection for their companies. But Ombudsman Kate Carnell states:
"Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated and small businesses are particularly vulnerable. Cybersecurity needs to be taken seriously… Many small businesses have successfully blended their physical and virtual shopfronts to establish sustainable operating models... Cyber criminals now are attacking small businesses as a result, very, very regularly. They know the big guys have really cool systems and they know the little guys haven't. Many CEOs are actively running the day-to-day business with an office structure around them. As a result, cyber protection is often forgotten.”
Serious Threat - Serious Response
Speaking last year at the ASIAL Security Conference in Sydney, Kate Carnell stated that 30% of small businesses reported experiencing a cybercrime incident in the year to mid-2015. The ombudsman added that “the true statistic is probably much higher because a lot of small businesses don't want to admit they've fallen victim to a cybercrime attack.”
"Many small businesses have successfully blended their physical and virtual shopfronts to establish sustainable operating models," Carnell stated. "It would be an incredible shame if small businesses shut themselves out of the online market because of fears about cybersecurity. There are risks attached to most activities... Taking sensible precautions broadens opportunities and heightens the rewards," Carnell said.
The Ombudsman’s cybersecurity pamphlet makes these key recommendations to business owners:
- Back-up data regularly
- Patch applications by installing security updates
- Use complex passwords and two-step authentication
- Limit access to administrator accounts and sensitive information
- Communicate about cybersecurity with team members
- Only allow applications you trust on your computers
- Report any cybercrime incidents or attacks
- Consult trusted advisors about cybersecurity
- Don’t rely on one form of cybersecurity protection
The ASBFEO cybersecurity pamphlet can be downloaded from their website, here: http://asbfeo.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/ASBFEO-cyber-security-guide.pdf
Defend Your Business
91% of cybercrime begins with a simple email and traditional antivirus software provides little protection from email-based fraud.
Effective cybersecurity requires a multi-layered strategy. Take action to protect your company from financial and reputational damage, now.
For a few dollars per staff member per month, get MailGuard's cloud-based email and web filtering protection. Talk to an expert at MailGuard today about your company's cybersecurity needs: 1300 30 44 30
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