How to avoid a crippling cyberattack on your business

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How to avoid a crippling cyberattack on your business

What do Lygon Street, Toorak Road and Barkly Street all have in common?

How are these Melbourne communities tied together? 

No matter where you find yourself, each of these villages is a thriving and bustling local community. 

Ask any Melbourian where the best place to eat a roast pork Bahn-mi with crispy fried crackling is. 

They’ll say Footscray.

(Actually, some locals will challenge that. Instead, they will suggest you head southeast to Springvale.)

What about an authentic Italian salumeria?

You know, bursting with porchetta, salami, parmigiano-reggiano and mozzarella. Or freshly baked lasagna and hand-cut gnocchi. 

Naturally, you think of Carlton.

Or do you want to travel across South East Asia without getting out your passport and boarding a plane? Instead, discover places to indulge in Asia’s full flavours, vibrancy and taste.

Where can you choose between Malaysian hawker street food or a contemporary take on Japanese classics?

Windsor has got you covered. 

In these villages, local traders work tirelessly, serving up mouth-watering delights.

Whilst some things have changed, Melbourians’ desire to head out for a meal has not. But one change that restaurant owners face is an increase in booking reservations. 

Now, more customers are making reservations from brunch through to dinner. But while welcoming surging booking, the flow-on impact is more emails. 

And with more emails is a heightened risk of cyberattacks. 

A new report from Barracuda Networks has analysed millions of emails. The information raised many small businesses’ unnerving blase attitude to IT security. 

I’m sure we can all understand the problematic few years we have endured in Melbourne. 

And while many businesses focus on improving cash flow and customer service, crooks are looking for their next victim.

Cybercriminals are ruthlessly targeting businesses with social engineering attacks. Over 350% of attacks last year targeted small-to-medium companies. 

You probably think it won’t happen to you.

And what do you have that’s valuable that’s worth hacking?

Well, that’s precisely the thoughts cybercriminals want you to have.

Warning: You’re not spending enough money to guard against future cyberattacks 

One of the challenges of businesses is balancing competing priorities. I mean, sales and cash flow are priorities for a successful business. But not allocating a budget for IT security puts your business at risk. 

It’s the same as you want to dine at Spice Temple, but you only have the budget for Lotus Rose down the road. 

Most Australian businesses spend less than $500 a year on cybersecurity

Many SMEs believe in buying an antivirus program and the “she’ll be right mate” attitude. 

However, relying on antivirus software is not enough. Technology continues to change, and cloud-based solutions are the norm. So, business owners need to focus on a higher level of security to protect against attacks. 

50% of SMEs have said they have an average or below-average understanding of the threat.

Your Friday night takeaway is a target for a brazen crook

No matter your business’s size, it has data that hackers find valuable. 

Even the local charcoal chicken shop is not safe from cyberattacks.  

So, while you wait to grab a chook, online crooks work to exploit security vulnerabilities. 

Once in the hands of the hackers, they sell credit card numbers, TFN and email addresses on the dark web. Cybercriminals will sell your data, and then others will use the data for identity theft. 

Some of the data hackers are looking to steal: 

  • Customer and employee records
  • Bank account details
  • Emails addresses and passwords
  • Credit card information

Crooks are targeting small business as a stepping stone 

Cyber threats are often targeted at small businesses to reach more prominent companies. 

Usually, this is because many Melbourne small businesses provide services to larger companies. Such as digital marketing, website development or bookkeeping services. 

Vendors often connect to their client’s systems (e.g. XERO). This type of relationship helps the hacker execute a multi-company breach. Although the hacker doesn’t need a direct connection, it’s helpful. 

And they can carry out their attack on two companies at once. 

What is the most severe threat to businesses?

Ransomware is one of the fastest-growing cyberattacks of the last decade. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) said it’s the “most serious cyber security threat to Australia”. 

It’s warned a ransomware attack has significant financial impacts and is very disruptive. 

71% of surveyed companies experienced a ransomware attack in 2022 compared to 37% in 2020

Worryingly still is the number of companies who chose to pay the ransom. In most cases, companies pay in the hopes of decrypting the ransomware. Reports suggest this is as high as 63% of companies choosing to pay the ransom. 

Paying the ransom encourages further ransomware attacks. 

And you are not guaranteed you will gain access to your information. 

Or stop the cybercriminals from selling or leaking your information on the internet. 

Astonishingly most businesses don’t train their employees on cyber threats.

It’s critical to prioritise employee training on cybersecurity. But unfortunately, many SMEs don’t take the time to provide regular training. Failure to conduct training exposes your business to security vulnerabilities, including costly mistakes and human error. 

Most cyberattacks are thriving as the hackers get help from one of your employees. 

That’s why phishing attacks are successful. As they only need an unsuspecting employee to open a phishing email. 

Or click a link that takes them to a malicious site.

Phishing continues to be the most threatening data breach, with 80% of all attacks. 

Your employees are vital to your cybersecurity defences. Regular IT security training alongside having a strong firewall or antivirus software.

How secure are your IT systems? 

We can help protect your IT infrastructure, including affordable options for Melbourne businesses. 

Contact us today to arrange your technology consultation. 

About the author

Yener is the founder and Managing Director of Intuitive IT. Prior to running his own business Yener worked for a number of corporate organisations where he gained invaluable experience and skills, as well as an understanding of how IT can complement and improve business outcomes.