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How to keep your business safe online

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Despite an increase in cybersecurity awareness, many businesses throughout Australia and the rest of the world are still under the increased threat of a cybersecurity breach.

Cybersecurity attacks on businesses are becoming more and more common and whilst cybersecurity measures are improving, for many businesses, they are not improving fast enough to keep up with the cybercriminals behind the attacks.

No matter how big or small is your business, it is crucial that you invest in the relevant cybersecurity protection to keep your assets safe. This includes your network, your data, your staff, your customer information and ultimately, your reputation.

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In this report by Purplesec, they report on the potential damage caused to businesses from a cybersecurity attack can be catastrophic. Purplesec report the following stats:

  • The average cost of malware attack on a company is $2.4 million.
  • The average cost in time of a malware attack is around 50 days.
  • The most expensive component of a cyber attack is loss of information, which represents 43% of costs.
  • Damage related to a cybercrime is projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021.

Now more than ever, it is important that companies invest in up-to-date cybersecurity measures to protect their business assets.

Whilst the costs outlined above apply more to large businesses that are often the target of these cyber attacks, the cost to small businesses can be just as damaging. In the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reported that 39% of UK businesses have experienced cyber security breach in the past 12 months, and the average cost of a cyber attack to a small business is £8,460.

The impact is not only felt on a businesses bottom line. Reputation is something that is hard to measure, however, trust is a significant factor relating to brand reputation and Atomik Research found that 33% of businesses that have suffered a cybersecurity breach lost customers as a result.

It’s clear that the threat from cybercrime is very real, however, rather than panic about the potential impact of a cyberattack, instead, focus your efforts on putting in place adequate cybersecurity measures to protect your business, your staff and your customers from a potential attack.

Here are some of the things you can and should be doing to protect your business online.

Keep your software up to date

One of the biggest problems a lot of businesses face is the amount of software they use today. With so many devices often connected to the company’s network, it can be difficult to monitor every piece of software that is running on the network, however, this is a crucial element of keeping your business safe from the threat of cyber security so it’s important to implement a cybersecurity framework that will help you to keep a track on all of the software programmes used within your business and keep them all up to date.

A further complication to this is the number of connected devices on your network, many of which can offer an easy back-door to your network due to a lack of security or simply not being kept updated. The Internet of Things (IoT) is helping to facilitate this with many devices that utilise the power of the IoT not providing enough security to keep your network safe. Things like smart speakers are often set up and never updated, increasing the cybersecurity risks to your business.

Implement a secure password policy

Unfortunately for businesses, one of the biggest cybersecurity threats comes from the people that work for you. Weak passwords are one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses with many people using the same passwords for a number of logins, including their main login to the business network.

It’s crucial for businesses to implement a secure password policy that forces users to use secure passwords that are updated periodically. A strong password should be at least eight characters long and difficult for others to guess. Taking things one step further, passwords should be unique for every account you use, according to Google. This adds an extra layers of security should there be a password breach on one of the site that you are using.

Use two-factor or multi-factor authentication

Taking things one step further, two factor authentication (2FA) or multi-factor authentication (MFA) adds an additional layer of protection and significantly decreases the chance of someone gaining unauthorised access to your accounts.

2FA or MFA requires you to add a second or third step of verification into the sign in process on top of your username and password. This would typically be a biometric authentication such as a fingerprint or facial recognition or an SMS code sent to your trusted device with a verification code. There are also specific authentication apps that you can use.

Learn from the biggest businesses

No business, large or small, is immune from the threat of cyberattack and there have been some high profile cases over the past decade that demonstrate the fact that cybercriminals do no discriminate.

Some of the most recent victims of cybercrime include LinkedIn in 2021, Facebook in 2019 and Alibaba in 2019. Cyber attacks on these world-leading brands forced them to increase their own cyber security measures.

Governments and technology companies are some of the biggest investors in cybersecurity. Firewalls and antivirus software is now often included in many of the leading devices across a range of platforms including Android, iOS and Microsoft.

One industry that has been forced to invest heavily in cybersecurity measures in the online gaming sector. With so many online players and active accounts, online gaming sites have become targets for cybercrime and these businesses have been forced to invest heavily in counter measures.

Of course, many companies within the online gaming sector have invested in cybersecurity in order to combat these attacks and protect their players. Online casino Betway not only promotes safer gambling, including ID checks to ensure no underage gamblers can access their site, but they also invest in cybersecurity methods in order to protect the personal data of gamers on their site. You can also check this list of Best Online Casinos in Australia to get a better sense.

Transparency is critical for online gaming sites like Betway and they have made big strides to demonstrate their commitment to keeping players on their site safe and secure, as well as protecting their own digital assets.

If you are not already invested in cybersecurity measures, now is the time. There are many businesses in Australia and around the world that are not cyber safe and at risk – don’t leave it too late to act, not matter the size of your business.

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