As the world becomes more dependent and reliant on technology, we become more and more vulnerable to cyber criminals, and cyber attacks.
Due to this rise in digitisation, we’ve seen a global increase in cyber-attacks and data breaches. This doesn’t only happen to individuals, but large organisations too. In the past year, Optus, Medibank, and ChatGPT all experienced data breaches. Which is why cyber-security is becoming more important than ever.
What is a cybercriminal, and can they affect you? Cyber Criminals are individuals or teams of people who exploit technology to steal sensitive company data or personal information by accessing your digital system or network. They have many different techniques to access your accounts and will either sell your information, or use it for fraud, identity the, or blackmail.
While cybercriminals will use various methods to access your technology and data, the most common are:
- Phishing: Creating an email or notification that appears to be authentic and relevant, requesting you to provide your password, username or another personal identifier.
- Malware: Malicious Software, usually disguised as a link or downloaded as an app, which can allow unauthorised access, use system resources, steal passwords, or lock you out of your own account.
- Social Engineering: Similar to phishing, they might use baiting (a link to an apparently free gift), or pretexting (a text from a trusted contact asking for personal details)
So with all these cyber-criminal tactics in mind, how can you defend yourself and your businesses against their tactics?
- Password Protection: The first step in being proactive with cyber security is ensuring your organisation has strong password protection. The strongest types of passwords are long, a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Multi-Factor Authentification (MFA): While we ‘strongly’ recommend using strong passwords, we also believe in adding an extra layer of security through multi-factor authentication for all important data. This is an electronic authentication method through which you have to provide two or more pieces of evidence to access secure data.
- Employee Awareness: As of the last year, 46% of cybersecurity incidents were from employee accidents. Raising awareness of the various cyber attacks, and training your employees to exercise caution with suspicious emails, notifications and links is a great way to be proactive with your cyber security!
- Security Assessment: Implementing regular security updates within your organisation such as vulnerability scanning and penetration can assist in identifying potential security gaps or vulnerabilities in your internal systems. Examples of security gaps might include storing credit card information in an insecure location, updating clients’ personal information, or emailing sensitive information.
- Security Updates: Like an iPhone that has constant updates and improvements, your software and operating systems should be regularly updated. This includes installing the latest technology and security software, which often implements fixes to identified vulnerabilities or security holes. With these simple steps in mind, you can start the journey of increasing your cyber security and increasing your digital defence. In our next blog, we’ll deep dive into how you can increase your Cyber Security, and how an ICT Environment might be the biggest and best Cyber Security investment you can make for your business.