A spate of data breach incidents in Australia has laid bare a hitherto well-kept secret – not all Australian businesses have a robust cybersecurity mechanism to detect let alone respond to cyber threats. The data breach incident at the Australian health insurer Medibank is a case in point. According to the insurer, cyber extortionists broke into the database and accessed scores of personal data to the tune of 200-gigabyte. The insurer further revealed that the extortionists provided proof of the breaches by sharing 100 insurance policies. These contained claims, information related to diagnoses, procedures, and biographical data.
The ransom note threatened the insurer to send medical data to 1000 prominent people. Claire O’Neil, the Australian Minister for Cybersecurity and Home Affairs castigated the malevolent act by stating, “financial crime is a terrible thing but ultimately a credit card can be replaced, the threat that is being made here to make the private personal health information of Australians available to the public is a dog act.”
Inadequate Cybersecurity Preparedness of Australian Businesses
Medibank is at a crossroads now. It is faced with a situation wherein it has to pay a ransom or risk seeing the data of its clients being published on the web or sold to others. Close on the heels of Medibank’s data breach is the news that the Aussie wine retailer Vinomofo’s database has been hacked into by cybercriminals. Interestingly, Vinomofo has declined to release any more information related to the breach “in the interests of the privacy of our customers and partners.”
Shockingly, Vinomofo’s website refers to the privacy of data as “boring stuff”. This smacks a lackadaisical attitude of the company (and many other Aussie businesses) towards cybersecurity. These incidences preceded by the ones at Optus and MyDeal exposed the vulnerability of Australian businesses against cyber criminals. It is about time that businesses take a relook at their cybersecurity preparedness by conducting cybersecurity consulting to plug the gaps.
What Should Australian Businesses Do to Prevent Cyber Crime?
It is no longer the case that cyber criminals target only big-value businesses. Small and medium businesses are likely to be targeted as well. In such times when everyone is vulnerable, Australian businesses should be proactive in dealing with the menace. If creating and maintaining a cybersecurity team in-house is a challenge, then it is better to outsource the job to professional cybersecurity companies such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence. Hiring experts who are aware of the threats and the ways to detect and mitigate them is critical. Let us discuss the ways Aussie businesses can benefit by leveraging cybersecurity support services.
How Mitigating Threats With Web Application Cybersecurity Assessment
Quality compromised web applications can be the conduits for cybercriminals to sneak in and steal data. The other implications could be in the form of stolen cookies or session Ids, database breaches, the introduction of malicious code, theft of account information, and many others. To mitigate cybersecurity threats at all entry points, web applications need to be tested. Developers often skip rigorous security testing to save time and accelerate the time to market. With web application cybersecurity assessment, businesses can deliver a positive user experience, empower their team of developers, prevent losses on account of data breaches, and others.
The methodology to conduct application security assessment may include guides such as:
- OWASP Top 10
- Threat Modeling processes
- OWASP’s Software Assurance Maturity Model
- Open Security Testing Methodology Manual
- Web Application Security Consortium guidelines
White box testing: It is about testing a web application by knowing its source code and system architecture. It helps the testing team to understand the kind of threats the application may face from forces knowing about the inner workings of the app. Hence, testing the source code is important to understand the bugs beforehand. The source code testing could include error handling, dependencies, and others.
Also, certified cybersecurity companies like Cybernetic Global Intelligence can utilize specialized tools to test the app to its highest limits. The tools may include fault injectors, debuggers, and analyzers, which are not always available with the in-house teams.
Black box testing: This type of testing evaluates the cybersecurity readiness of web applications by mimicking a hacker with limited or no knowledge of the inner workings of the app. Here, the app is attacked with various inputs without taking into account the app’s ability for internal exception handling, program execution, and others. It involves the scalability of testing with more testers working together without knowing about operating systems, programming languages, and others.
Grey box testing: It encompasses end-to-end development, testing, and compatibility environments to identify issues. Such testing by certified cybersecurity experts can help businesses identify gaps in their security infrastructure and patch them before deployment.
Australian businesses are staring down the barrel concerning cybersecurity, and need to change their attitude to strengthening cybersecurity, if not done already. They can hire the services of top-quality cybersecurity support services such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence to plug the gaps and ensure their systems, applications, and networks are robust and compliant with the regulatory standards. Businesses operating in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia Pacific region can contact Cybernetic Global Intelligence by calling 1300 292 376 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.