In view of the growing cybersecurity threats to organisations and to secure the interests of consumers, the Australian Federal Government has decided to get tough. It has directed organisations operating critical infrastructure to increase their investment in cybersecurity measures to comply with the new cybersecurity requirements. According to the new cybersecurity risk management protocol, organisations need to demonstrate that they are meeting the new baseline standards. Further, directors and board members will be held culpable if they do not follow suit. The total cost for organisations to set up such measures is estimated to be $9 billion combined over the next decade across sectors. The sectors include healthcare, energy, food, water, transport, and communications.
To reach that figure, affected organizations were tasked with calculating the cost of boosting their resilience to cybersecurity. According to Clare O’Neil, the cybersecurity minister, “Although the figure appears to be high, it is considered cheaper compared to the cost of large cyberattacks.” Mr. O’Neil stated further, “We recognise that there are costs for businesses, but ensuring compliance with the Risk Management Protocol is a preventative measure. What would be even more costly is irreparable damage to Australia’s national security and the reputational risk to those assets.”
The protocol comes in the wake of several cybersecurity incidents that were widely reported in the media. According to the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre, a part of the Australian Department of Home Affairs, there have been reports of 47 cybersecurity incidents from the suppliers of critical infrastructure since July 6, 2022. Is this to say that the situation is concerning and that businesses in Australia (as well as New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region) must improve their cybersecurity infrastructure? The answer is a resounding yes, as stated by Manish Chaudhari, CISO, Cybernetic Global Intelligence, a premier and accredited cybersecurity consulting company. According to Manish Chaudhari, given the growing sophistication of cyber threats, companies that do not implement cybersecurity measures can pay a heavy price—in terms of data breaches, loss of customer trust, penalties, lawsuits, and a fall in brand equity.
So, how do organisations improve their cybersecurity infrastructure? Let us find out in the below-mentioned segment.
How Can Companies Mitigate Cyber Threats?
The cost of not implementing or updating cybersecurity measures can be very high. Remember, cyber criminals do not stop at targeting only the biggies; they can let loose their arsenal of malware on small and medium enterprises as well. It is, therefore, critical for enterprises across industry to implement stringent cybersecurity measures and ringfence their critical business assets, including data. However, it is important to identify the vulnerabilities in the existing IT infrastructure through penetration testing.
How Does Penetration Testing Help
Cybercriminals look for vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure of a company before exploiting it to the hilt and gain access to critical data. So, it is important to deny them the opportunity to do so by plugging the gaps. Here, penetration testing can play a critical role by allowing certified ethical hackers to breach the IT infrastructure of a company. It does so with the intent of identifying flaws and then fixing them, which otherwise cybercriminals might exploit. For instance, Cybernetic Global Intelligence provides a full spectrum of penetration testing capabilities, such as information gathering, footprinting, vulnerability assessment, exploitation, and reporting. This way, a detailed analysis of the weaknesses or vulnerabilities in the IT infrastructure is done and insights are drawn. Here, IT infrastructure may encompass web applications, wireless networks, mobile applications, client-server applications, ERP systems, SCADA, social engineering, and others.
There are several benefits of penetration testing, as mentioned below:
- Prevents unauthorised access to the organization’s critical data and systems by anticipating emerging security risks.
- Identifies gaps in the organization’s existing security practices.
- Evaluates the efficiency of firewalls, network security, routers, and web servers.
- Ensures the organisation meets all its regulatory compliances, such as PCI DSS, ISO/IEC 27001-13, ACSC Essential Eight, SSAE 18, and others.
The Australian Federal Government’s new risk management protocol for organisations operating critical infrastructure should not be overlooked. It is a mandate that such organisations need to follow in good faith. Here, reputable and accredited cybersecurity companies, such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence (CGI) can be of help. With a huge team comprising 430 consultants certified by Crest, CEH, OSCP, CISA, CISSP, CISM, and having ISO 27001 lead auditors and implementers, CGI with more than 20 years of experience in information security can provide a robust cybersecurity umbrella for organisations cutting across domains. For more information, call 1300 292 376 or email Contact@cybernetic-gi.com.