Connectivity and technology continue to expand and develop every day, and Australian businesses use these advancements to be more mobile, efficient, and reach new local and international markets. The Telstra Security Report 2019 follows a year of high-profile cyber security breaches that have littered the news cycle. There’s been big changes to the Privacy Act 2018, in particular the arrival of its key requirements: the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme, which has implications for businesses of all sizes.
The report finds that breaches and security incidents are on the rise. 65% of Australian businesses surveyed were interrupted by a breach in the past year, and 89% say they've had breaches go undetected. This aligns with cyber security expert Matthew Wilson’s suggestion that all businesses have experienced a breach whether they know or not.
Planning for the future
Cyber security isn’t solely an IT concern anymore and it should be managed like any other part of the business. Senior managers and board members need to be aware of security protocols, policies and escalation procedures. Planning your security procedures is the first step to keeping your business safe in the case of an incident. As your business grows, you may be looking to expand internationally. It’s essential to be aware of security requirements in the markets you’re servicing and how to protect your data in transit.
New obligations under the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme
During 2018, several new regulations came into effect in Australia and internationally. Since the introduction of the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 55% of organisations surveyed have been fined for being in breach of such legislations.
Cyber security is a human challenge
If it isn’t just an IT concern, whose concern is it? The quick answer is: everyone’s. Human error – often caused by inadequate business processes and employees not understanding their organisation’s security policies – is one of the leading causes of a cyber incident in businesses. Every member of your staff needs to be aware of the possible threats and be familiar with how your business prepares your network defences.
The cyber threat dictionary
Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly more common as devices connect to the Internet of Things (IoT). Every connected device is a possible entry point to your protected data and business details. There are new challenges emerging all the time, like crypto mining, advanced persistent threats, and cloud security considerations.
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The cyber crimes you need to know about
Understanding the types of cyber crime prevalent today is the best way to understand how your business needs to be protected. Traditionally, big businesses were seen as targets for cyber crime due to their large client lists and big bank accounts. But today every small business could be seen as an easy target for information and data theft. Learn about the different cyber crimes and the effects they can have on your business so that you are prepared to protect and react to save your data if need be.
Detection and response are key
Timely detection and incident responsiveness, and the impact of new technologies are among the top concerns for businesses surveyed in the Telstra Security Report 2019. An essential tool to counter a threat in a timely manner is an incidence response plan. However, the report shows that 1 in 4 Australian businesses don’t have or don't know if they have such a plan in place to deal with damaging cyber attacks when they happen.
Being secure in finance
Protecting businesses and customers’ personal financial information is a huge issue that touches most of Australia – and the finance industry deals with some of the most highly protected data the world over. Past years have seen cyber attacks target credit cards and debit cards, but this year the trend has swung towards the theft of personal information and identity details. As this data becomes more heavily digitised and easily shared, identity protection becomes even more of an issue. It’s vital to understand how to keep data protected and what your obligations are if you do experience a breach. There are steps you can take today to shore up your cyber security.
*Originally published on May 8th 2019. Updated February 19th 2021.