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  • Writer's pictureUHY Haines Norton

Cyber Security – not just for the big end of town

By Tina Zawila

Small businesses and individuals tend to think that Cyber Security is just for the big end of town…those multi-million-dollar businesses and industries, and organisations that have access to lots of personal data or control critical infrastructure. However, it’s never been more important for all business owners and individuals to protect themselves from cyber threats.

Did you know that Australia is the fourth-most at risk country in the Asia-Pacific by threat rate?

These days, all businesses, small or large rely on computerised systems to manage their day-to-day activities and therefore, cyber security must be considered and implemented to safeguard data and systems. And with more businesses using the cloud, security needs to be continuously monitored and updated to safeguard data. Whilst cloud applications themselves are well-equipped with security, as the end user you still need to take care and have appropriate procedures in place to avoid user-errors, malicious software and phishing attacks. Of course, we are all aware of the importance of data security following the recent attacks on Optus and Medibank, and safeguarding digital data must be a priority for all businesses.

Educating your employees to be vigilant in their own cyber security practices to avoid human errors is vital, as one ‘bad day’ can expose the whole organisation. Remote working also introduces a new set of cyber security challenges. Organisations must ensure that their security measures protect remote workers by using tools such as multi-factor authentication, secure VPNs and automated patching.

Individuals are also an easy target for hackers and cyber criminals. All of our photos, financial transactions, emails and messages on our handheld devices make us vulnerable to cyber-attacks. It is also becoming harder and harder for the average person to detect suspicious emails or text messages.

Cyber security is a growth industry, with qualified, experienced professionals in short supply. It is estimated that organisations will spend over $100 billion on cyber security in 2023. This investment is critical as cyber criminals are well resourced and very patient. As users of technology (businesses and individuals) we all need to invest in our own protection, be constantly vigilant to cyber security threats and seek support from professionals.

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