If there’s one thing COVID taught us about tech, it’s that our reliance on it has reached an all-time high. In the wake of the pandemic, as companies closed their offices, and staff settled into a lengthy lockdown, it was the ability to work remotely that kept many businesses going – and thousands of people in jobs.
But as new advances in technology, systems and applications embed themselves in businesses across the globe, cyber-security concerns are mounting. While tech keeps us connected and saves companies time and money with efficient digital tools and processes, it gives hackers more opportunities to find holes in security systems.
Scroll through any tech news website, and it won’t take long to find the latest report of cyber-security breaches. And it’s not limited to small-scale scams from opportunists looking to make a quick buck.
This year, Australia has been hammered by highly sophisticated cyber attacks across every level of government, including political, educational and health institutions. Big firms like BlueScope Steel had to cease international operations when they were hacked. Toll Group was attacked twice in 2020 with ransomware, forcing a shutdown of services.
It’s costing businesses millions. Earlier this year, Talman Software – which is used by more than three quarters of the Australian wool industry – was forced offline, with estimated losses totalling between 60 and 80 million dollars.
As more information gets sent and stored with cloud based solutions, the opportunity for data breaches is only going to increase. Hackers are deploying increasingly clever methods of accessing your systems and data, and you need to respond with robust cybersecurity processes to keep your data, and that of your customers, safe.
At Plant Assessor, security is our top priority. We’re committed to keeping the data of our customers safe and secure, and we’re continually improving and enhancing our security procedures and protocols.
Everyone across your organisation should be aware of the cybersecurity practices and policies you have in place – and you should ensure they’re followed.
It pays to implement a robust cybersecurity policy in your business, but make sure you get the basics right. Start by following these five simple tips:
1. Think before you click
It doesn’t matter how strong your front door is, if you willingly open it to attackers. With over 3 billion fake emails sent every day, it pays to double check the links you’re clicking, sites you’re visiting, or emails you’re opening. If something doesn’t look right, a quick search can confirm whether that official looking email is genuine.
2. Keep everything up to date
Those update reminders can come at inconvenient times, but it’s crucial you keep your system and applications up to date – especially security software. More often than not, they contain updates that are responding to the latest threats, keep data protected, and fix any holes in your defences.
3. Ensure you’re secure – on and off site
You might have the server in your office properly protected, but have you considered how secure data is when employees are working away from base? While public WiFi might be convenient to quickly get online, an unsecured network is a neon ‘welcome’ sign to hackers. Double check the security credentials of any network you’re connecting to.
4. Make sure your passwords are rock solid
These days, sticking a ‘1’ at the end of your password, and replacing a letter with a ‘special character’ doesn’t cut it. Hackers use sophisticated hardware that can punch in billions of potential passwords in seconds. Install password software, such as LastPass, that can generate a random password across all of your logins. Or at the very least, test the security of your passwords using a free, trusted, online checking service.
5. Educate your team about cyber security
A recent report revealed that 90% of data breaches are caused by human error. It doesn’t matter how ironclad your cyber defenses are, if the basics aren’t followed. Educate your employees about the latest threats, how to keep their data safe, and what to look out for. And regularly check in to make sure your cybersecurity policies are being followed.