Business owners all throughout Australia are more susceptible to IT security threats than ever before, and it’s more important than ever to protect your sensitive data.
According to IT security experts, data security breaches are on the rise – the Office of Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)(1) has reported a 19% year-over-year rise in incidents.
The financial loss associated with a security breach continues to grow, too. According to an IBM study(2), the average data breach costs an Australian company $2.13 million.
So what are the most common vulnerabilities that could lead to security breaches at your small business? In this guide from Technetics Consulting, we’ll explore the most common cyber security threats to your business. Learn more below.
1. Phishing Emails & Social Engineering
Phishing emails usually place malware or a virus onto the device that is used to open them up, and they are a leading cause of cyber attacks and data loss. Worldwide, more than 3 billion of these fake emails are sent per day.
Phishing emails often use social engineering to get employees to download them and open them up. An email may pose as an inquiry from a vendor or one of your business partners, for example – and look convincing enough that an employee opens it up.
Phishing training is essential for overcoming this threat. Your employees need to know how to recognize phishing emails, and you need to have a security plan in place to react if an employee accidentally downloads and opens an infected email.
2. Lost And Unsecured Computers & Mobile Devices
If your employer loses a mobile device or computer, this can open your business up to a number of security breaches. Someone who recovers the device could recover company data, or even login information for your network and servers, gaining access to sensitive information that could be sold or shared.
Proper mobile security practices and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies are essential for fighting back against this threat. You need to have a way to remotely disable or wipe devices that are lost and misplaced to protect yourself if an employee loses or misplaces a device that contains sensitive information.
3. “Brute Force” Attacks
Many attacks on corporate websites and servers simply use “brute force”(3) attacks to gain access to user accounts.
The way this works is simple – an automated program enters random characters and digits until it guesses the right password for a user account. Then, a hacker can use these credentials to access your sensitive information.
The best way to avoid this is with strong passwords. If your users have weak, short, passwords, it’s much easier for a brute force attack to be successful. The longer and more complex your passwords are, the harder it is for the attack to guess it.
You should require passwords that are a minimum of 15 characters, and include uppercase and lowercase characters, as well as numbers and special characters. Users should also be required to change their passwords every 3 months.
4. Unpatched Security Vulnerabilities In IT Systems
If you do not properly maintain your servers, software, website, and operating systems, you open yourself up to cyber attacks. Regular patching and updating of IT systems are essential for protecting your information.
Poorly-updated and unpatched systems mean that you could have known vulnerabilities in your IT systems – which can lead to hacks and unauthorized access to your data. Make sure your IT team is on top of patching, maintaining, and updating all of your mission-critical systems.
5. Poorly Secured Wireless Networks
If you do not secure your wireless network properly, it’s possible for hackers to log into your network and intercept and read data that’s sent through your network. This could lead to the loss of user data and passwords, sensitive corporate information, intellectual property, and more.
Make sure you take the proper steps to secure your wireless network, such as implementing strict access controls, using complex passwords, and encrypting wireless network traffic.
Protect Your Business With Technetics Consulting!
At Technetics Consulting, we offer expert cyber security and IT services in Melbourne. If you need help securing your business from these common threats, don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at 1300 853 453 to schedule a consultation right away.