Protect Yourself and Your Business Against Cyber Crime
Cyber criminals have been taking advantage of the pandemic to target exposed businesses and the security vulnerabilities that come with more people working from home, with some scams increasingly clever.
Steps you can take to better protect your personal and company data range from business cyber protection coverage to online security checks and being scam savvy.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has warned of increased COVID-19 themed malicious cyber activity. They have published a range of helpful content aimed at helping individuals and families and small and medium-sized businesses protect themselves against these increased risks, which are well worth checking out, including:
- ACSC Small Business Cyber Security Guide
- Resources for Protecting Your Business Online
- Step-by-Step Security Guides for Individuals and Families
Cyber protection for businesses
Cyber criminals have been actively targeting Australian organisations with COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails, due in part to the ease with which scam emails and texts can be modified with a COVID-19 theme.
Because the ramifications of data breaches or cyber-attacks on your business can be huge, Cyber Protection coverageis now more critical. Depending upon your policy, cyber protection insurance can allow you to claim for losses incurred by business interruption caused by cyber-attacks, as well as the costs of recovering data, upgrading software, and crisis management solutions.
Cyber protection for employees working from home
The rise in employees working from home brings new risks for businesses if security measures aren’t properly implemented. Key things to ensure staff are aware of include:
- Security gaps in online conferencing services– Hackers can gain access through services such as Zoom. The easiest protection is simply making sure you add a password to all calls.
- Strong and unique passwords – We should all know this one by now but it may be worth reiterating to employees, as it’s a key line of defence for both personal and business computer use.
- Implement multi-factor authentication – Using multiple layers of authentication makes it much harder to access your systems. Criminals may manage to steal one type of proof of identity (e.g. a PIN) but very unlikely to steal the correct combination of multiple proofs for an account.
- Stay up-to-date– Allow automatic updates on devices and systems as software updates are designed to address security issues.
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and trusted Wi-Fi only– VPN connections secure web browsing and remote network access. Using free wireless internet anywhere always puts you at risk of security exposures.
Personal cyber protection
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) website Scamwatch reports that to July of this year, scammers have stolen more than $7.2 million from Australians by gaining access to home computers, an increase of 184 per cent on last year.
How to spot and avoid scams
- Avoiding fake websites and phishing emails both require being on alert for clues they are fake. If you are unsure about a website or offer do some research, looking for any consumer complaints, poor reviews or scam alerts.
- Never click on hyperlinks in text/social media messages or emails, even if they appear to come from a trusted source. Go to the website through your browser instead. (E.g. If an announcement by text or email looks like it comes from the MyGov website but asks you to click a link, go to my.gov.au directly instead.)
- Never respond to unsolicited emails or calls that ask for personal or financial details, even if they claim to be a from a government authority or your lender.
- Always be sceptical of any unsolicited outreaches, offers or online shopping deals that seem too good to be true.
Call us on (02) 8268 2900 for an obligation-free chat about your cyber protection coverage or anything else that’s on your mind.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it and, where appropriate, seek professional advice.