Are you cyber attack ready?
By Anthony Caruana
It's worth understanding why businesses are potential targets for cyber criminals.
In the past, the main threats attacking your business came from competitors and burglars. Today, danger can be just a few mouse clicks away with sophisticated attacks being delivered via the internet. What can you do to protect your business?
It's worth understanding why businesses are potential targets for cyber criminals. In the past, viruses and other computer malware was developed by parties that were little more than high-tech vandals. But today, many attacks are motivated by political or financial gain. That means businesses are greater targets.
So what can businesses do to protect themselves?
Keep systems up to date
All the major software vendors release system updates regularly. Some of these updates fix annoying bugs and add new functionality. But in some cases updates are focused on resolving security issues that have become known.
Whenever new system updates regarding security issues are released, it's worth installing them at the earliest possible convenience.
Microsoft schedules system updates on the second Tuesday of each month. Critical updates for security issues are sometimes released outside that cycle. Apple releases updates on a more ad-hoc basis.
Use up-to-date security software on servers and clients
Security software used to just be antivirus, but now it protects systems from viruses, Trojans and other malware.
It's not enough to just install this software. It must be kept up to date in order to protect your systems from new threats and attacks that are developed by the bad guys.
Check the security credentials of key business partners
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Although you might be doing the right thing and keeping systems protected, an attack on a key trading partner could hurt your business as well. What would happen if a key supplier or customer were out of action for a week?
Ask your key suppliers and customers about their cyber security and assure them of your security practices.
Practise safe computing
Even with the best computer security in place, your business remains vulnerable if people don't work safely.
A few guidelines to consider are:
- Don't open email attachments from unknown sources.
- Don't visit websites that distribute illegal content such as pirated movies, music or software.
- Don't open links to websites from within email messages.
Security isn't just about running some software - it's about teaching people to act safely and responsibly with critical business assets. Once you have that covered, you can be confident that you're protecting yourself from cyber attacks.
Optus offers a range of product to help assist security your business, find out more here.