Cyber security in Australia is an essential tool to protect businesses both large and small, from advancing cyber crime threats. In this current environment it is vital that no matter the size of the company, everyone is doing what they can to stay secure online.
In the past, businesses only had to really worry about the physical security on their business, easily implemented by security gates and CCTV cameras. In recent years however, there is a new threat. One that we cannot see but it is very real and potentially even more damaging.
Cyber crime is on the rise and attacking Australian businesses. In fact, according to a post by Infosecurity during the first six months of 2020 alone, ransomware payments doubled. With hackers finding new ways to compromises organisations, these ransom demands are likely to increase.
Scott Morrison cyber attack
Back in June 2020, an attack on Scott Morrison’s government was carried out by a state-sponsored actor. This attack was not just on the prime minister but on all levels of government from the healthcare industry, education, political sectors, and other primary sectors in the infrastructure.
It is unclear whether these state-actors got what they came for or what they will do with the information. Reasons for foreign state-actors infiltrating other governments could be to send a warning, to spy, find out sensitive information or research, or to steal data for financial gain.
Whatever the reason behind this attack, it only goes to show that even the most high-profile of organisations can be the victim of cybercrime. Whether you are a large government agency or an individual running a small business, cyber security needs to be a priority.
Increasing vulnerabilities in cyber security Australia
Why are there increasing cyber security attacks on Australia? Cyber security in Australia needs to be at the top of every organisation’s priority list. Australian businesses have money to steal. A wealthy economy that makes use of the latest technologies will always be at risk from harmful cyber threats.
In the current situation with the pandemic, we are seeing even more cyber threats to Australian businesses. In April 2020, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) reported an increased in the amount of COVID-19 themed cyber attacks. Hackers and cyber criminals are taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty of coronavirus, as well as the increased in people working remotely.
For smaller businesses, where the level of cyber security may be limited, this can put SME’s at a greater risk. For smaller business check out this helpful graphic from the government site on best cyber practices.
The ACSC has recently warned the healthcare industry of the latest attacks that have been seen rising throughout the pandemic. One of these threats is SDBBot Remote Access Tool (RAT). This piece of malware is used by criminals to remotely take over multiple systems within an organisation. Hackers will go through the system and copy any sensitive information they can use to sell or blackmail the victim. Another recent attack is named Cl0p ransomware. Once a hacker has gained access using RAT, they can then use Cl0p to encrypt the organisations files to make them unreadable (in order to charge a ransom).
October 2020 saw German company Software AG fall victim to this attack. The hackers demanded US$20 million in ransom. The company’s data was leaked online after they did not pay the ransom.
Cyber threats are also increased with many staff members country-wide now working from home, often using insecure devices such as smartphones, personal laptops and devices used via the Internet of Things (IoT). When using insecure devices or networks, the chance for a data breach is greatly increased.
The more applications, devices, systems, networks, and Wi-Fi we use, the more chance of malware being infected into businesses. Once a company has been compromised, it is at risk from a ransomware attack, stolen money, damage to internal systems and devices, customer information being leaked, identity theft and more. If personal customer data has been leaked, you may also be facing more hefty fines for breaking data protection laws. Risking a cyber attack is simply not worth it.
What is the Government doing in cyber security?
The 2020 cyber security strategy from the Australian government has said it will invest $1.67 billion in cyber security, over the next ten years. The strategy outlines detailed advice for individuals, SME’s, large corporations, and government sectors.
There are three sectors the report details, where cyber security practices and different approaches need to be put in place: government, businesses, and the community.
• Safeguard essential infrastructure, crucial services, and families
• Tackle cyber-crime, together with the dark web
• Protect government information and systems
• Sharing cyber threat intelligence
• Keep cyber security alliances strong
• Help organisations to implement cyber security practices
• Improve resources for cyber security
• Enhance standard cyber protection for critical services
• Advise SME’s of best cyber security measures
• Deliver secure merchandise and services to customers
• Develop trained personnel in cybersecurity
• Monitor and stop attempted malware hacks
• Advise and guide individuals on cyber security
• Make familiar buying choices
• Ensure cyber incidents are reported
• Know how and where the find cyber support
The report documents clear advice and guidance for individuals, businesses, and government sectors. They will do this by providing advice on the latest cyber threats, how to keep your business and devices secure, including the Internet of Things (IoT), and by stating clear obligations for businesses.
Each sector will have a role to play. Governments need to ensure they are protecting the most essential infrastructure and Australian businesses. Business themselves should make sure their products and customer data are made secure. Individuals need to stay vigilant and to understand the cyber threats on the web, before releasing any personal data or buying goods online.
The 2020 Australian cyber security strategy provides all Australian’s and organisations the tools they need to stay cyber secure. The strategy hopes to build trust and awareness of cyber security attacks in Australia and to advise on how to deal with those attacks. By addressing the community and organisations as a whole, this guidance provides a valuable tool for everyone to implement good cyber security measures, whether at home or work.
Cyber Security protection from Cube Cyber
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