The facts are out and the jury is in, with cyber-crime affecting millions and costing billions around the globe, Geeks are the new Gangsters. However, unlike Al Capone or Machine Gun Kelly all guns blazing and posing a physical threat, today's cyber criminals use stealth, deception and sophisticated technology to steal valuable business or personal data.
As Ginni Rometty, IBM’s Chairman, President and CEO, said in Forbes Magazine¹ back in 2015 “Cyber crime by definition, is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world".
Don’t be fooled into thinking that cyber criminals are only targeting big business, banks or the uber rich either, they go for mid-size business and individual users like you and me as well. The number of Australians hit by cyber crime last year was 6.09 million which is one in four people². On conservative estimates, cyber crime currently costs Australians upwards of $1 billion per year³.
Businesses often spend thousands upon thousands of dollars physically securing and protecting their business (alarms, insurance, security locks, CCTV) though leave their businesses wide open to common vulnerabilities. Not having the right cyber-security measures in place also leaves businesses vulnerable to attack, as 516,380 Australian small businesses fell victim to cyber crime in 20174.
We are in fact only human and we do make mistakes, nearly 40% of reported data breaches were due to human error so it pays to be vigilant online. If you are connected to the Internet, you are a potential victim of cyber crime, so ensure you have the proper protection in place.
Be aware, prepared and act to stop cyber criminals from getting access to your key data, start with these simple tips and build your security from there.
People tend to use generic words as their passwords, such as their maiden name, favourite sports team or pet’s name. These are easy to crack for experienced cyber criminals. Instead, look at using unique pass-phrases for each of your accounts. Add an extra layer of security with multi factor authentication.
A phishing email is one that contains deceptive messages and lures the recipient to click on a link to a fraudulent website that usually tries to imitate sites from well-known companies – such as banks or telecommunication companies. Always think before you click on links and attachments.
Updating your software is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself online. These updates add new features, install bug fixes and fix security holes that could let cyber criminals in. Install software updates as soon as they become available. Better yet, set your system to auto-update.
Free, public Wi-Fi is incredibly convenient when you need to quickly do some work on the go, however it also makes it incredibly convenient for hackers to gain access to your information. Be wary of public Wi-Fi and avoid using it – especially for sensitive information.
Consider an online security awareness program to keep you and your staff informed about good online security practices.
To learn more about securing your business, download our 12 Top Tips to Cyber Security which explains the measures to protect your business and, as always, seek professional advice from an IT expert to help your business stay safe online.
Contact Calvert Technologies today if you have any concerns regarding securing your business' data.
- Norton’s annual SMB Cyber Security Survey 2017