Is the cybersecurity infrastructure in Australia secure? This question is being increasingly asked as a series of hacking incidents seem to have sent ripples around the business landscape. So, what has happened in the recent past that made people skeptical of using online services in Australia? To put the records straight, the media has been abuzz with several incidences of data leaks taking place in quick succession, thereby bringing to the fore the need to employ cybersecurity support services. Take the MyDeal.com.au incident for example where a compromised credential was used to steal user information from a database. It led to the taking over of information of around 2.2 million customers comprising names, email addresses, phone numbers, addresses, and others.
Alarm Sounded by Cybersecurity Experts
No wonder the hacking news sent shockwaves around the country with Professor Sanjay Jha, Chief Scientist for UNSW Institute of Cybersecurity saying “the breach raises serious concerns for the end user’s confidence in using online services and poses a serious challenge for the industry.” He further added, “you would expect more stringent authorization and access control and network partitioning to protect these critical assets.” The media reports on cybersecurity breaches made it evident that a few industries are not adopting stringent cybersecurity measures, such as conducting periodic cybersecurity audits.
According to Dr. Arash Shaghaghi, a Senior Lecturer in Cybersecurity, “users’ data are collected by various services without any control from the end user, and often the data collection to join these services is excessive – leaving the end users vulnerable and with limited options when a serious breach occurs.” These incidents of data breaches and the views expressed by two eminent cybersecurity experts point out the criticality of implementing cybersecurity measures by businesses. These measures can help prevent breaches, restore trust in the system, and make the business competitive. Let us understand how Australian businesses can shore up their defences and prevent threat actors from compromising the system.
Cybersecurity Measures Businesses Should Take
Australian businesses, like any other businesses across the world, have a wide range of cybersecurity measures to look up to and implement as mentioned below:
ISO 27001 Information Security Management System: Implementing this security standard can reduce risks to the reputational damage of any business. It entails the setting up of an information security management system comprising processes, technology, and people. ISO 27001 enjoins businesses to conduct risk assessments based on their appetite and tolerance. Using the standard, businesses can identify the policies to document, the staff to train, and the technologies to protect. Further, it allows businesses to avoid paying costly penalties due to non-compliance with data protection needs, and assure stakeholders that their information is safe.
Incident Response Plan: Businesses are often found to be scurrying for cover when their IT systems and applications are attacked by cybercriminals. They do not have any triage of responses to follow when faced with an incident. Unless there is a robust incident response plan where everyone is aware of the things to be done, businesses can flounder in identifying the threat, let alone addressing it. An incident response team can come into action when a system is breached. The team can ringfence critical systems, patch vulnerabilities, and deter further attacks.
Web Application Security: Web applications, mostly with third-party interfaces, are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. So, while developing a web application, businesses should mandatorily conduct a web application cyber security assessment. Otherwise, a compromised application can lead to account information theft, stolen session Ids, database breaches, malicious codes being planted, etc. With a proper web application security testing exercise, the safety of customer information can be assured, and stakeholders can have peace of mind. In fact, startups and small businesses can hire the services of professional cybersecurity companies such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence to conduct application security assessments.
Cybersecurity threats have become a cause of concern for Australian businesses in view of the recent disclosure of data leaks in a few companies. The only way to tackle the menace is by strengthening the cybersecurity infrastructure and conducting periodic cybersecurity audits. It is critical that businesses realize the gravity of the situation and reach out for cybersecurity consulting from experienced players such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence.
In case you are a startup, small, medium, or big enterprise based in Australia, New Zealand, or the Asia Pacific region, do not let the threat of cybercriminals affect you. Call 1300 292 376 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to keep your business and customers’ data safe and secure your IT network from unauthorized access.