First of all, let's agree what we mean by ‘cybersecurity’.
Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks.
Why is it necessary? Because there are some pretty smart, tech-savvy people out there who hack software for a living. It can be a lucrative career path, albeit they run the risk of being imprisoned if they get caught.
One very public recent example was the attack on Garmin, a multinational technology company well-known for its mapping and sports tracking products. As a result of a cyber attack, users around the world were unable to access Garmin services or sync their data - showing the power that cybercriminals can wield. But that wasn’t all. Not only did Garmin’s online services go offline but so did their call centres, emails and online chat systems too.
They were digitally crippled and the whole world witnessed it.
What happened? It was a cyberattack that encrypted some of its systems. And the only fix is to have the decryption key to unscramble the files - it's often referred to as a ransomware attack. Instead of taking a person hostage, the cybercriminals take part/all of your systems ‘hostage’ and demand a ransom to ‘release’ it.
Just think about the implications of this attack for Garmin. Here’s a quote: "As a result of this cyber attack many of our online services were interrupted including website functions, customer support, customer-facing applications, and company communications".
Now think about that in the context of your business. Scary isn't it? And this is ‘Garmin’ who have a huge IT department and very deep pockets to protect their business.
The reality is, it’s not just the big companies that are vulnerable. In the wake of COVID-19 an increased dependency on mobile devices, remote working using cloud applications, and data being used from more locations, means the risk of cyber attacks in 2020 is skyrocketing. It is reported that more than 36.5% of Australian businesses have already been involved in an incident through a third-party cloud service used by their employees in the past year. It’s more important than ever for businesses to close gaps in their security.
Even before COVID-19 displaced workforces around the country, 26.4% of Australian small businesses reported that they lost between $3,000 and $15,000 through cyberattacks in 2019.
But the damage can extend far beyond the sums of money we’re talking about. It could be argued that losing your customers' trust has far greater implications. Reputational damage, losing clients along with lost revenue and business continuity is hard to place dollar values on until it's too late. There are legal implications too. Handling and storing customer data securely is a big responsibility and if a data breach involves customer data there may be legal costs involved as well.
Perhaps the most frightening statistic is that as many as two-thirds of SMBs that suffer a cyber attack collapse within six months. Sobering isn’t it?
As part of the SMB space ourselves, we remain vigilant for ourselves as well as our clients. We invest a lot of time staying current within this ever-evolving and complex space and have launched a new division of IT Basecamp - Cyber Heroes - offering a comprehensive cyber security concierge service to provide customers with ongoing education, continuous process improvement and regulatory compliance to protect your people, profits and reputation from cyber criminals.
Protection against cybercrime is about preparation, education and technical infrastructure. As the trusted provider of IT services and cybersecurity protection to hundreds of clients around the world, the next obvious question is, “What products do we use to protect our own and our clients’ businesses?”
If you’re a client of ours who has already taken the step to reduce your exposure to cyber-attacks you’ll know that we use, and are partnered with, Kaspersky. They are considered by many to be the world's leading brand of cybersecurity software solutions.
But what underpins such a bold claim? Trust.
Obviously, trust is essential in cybersecurity and it’s a fickle world out there. We value the transparency with which Kaspersky operates and the level of accountability to which they are held by the global IT communities.
As a demonstration of Kaspersky’s commitment to continue earning their partners and clients' trust, the company created a Lab’s Global Transparency Initiative in 2018. At its core, this included opening three Transparency Centres worldwide and they provide their source code for third-party review.
This was unprecedented and was designed to engage the broader information security community and other stakeholders in validating and verifying the trustworthiness of its products, internal processes, and business operations, as well as introducing additional accountability mechanisms by which the company can further demonstrate that it addresses any security issues promptly and thoroughly.
They won our vote. And with more operations going digital, businesses need to protect every Windows or Linux server, Mac laptop and Android mobile device and our weapon of choice in this fight is Kaspersky Endpoint for Business.
Too often a cybercriminal's access to business systems preys on employee naivety. Employees knowledgeable about current security scams and security risks can identify and block an attack before it happens.
We encourage our clients to schedule basic security awareness education for employees working from home during COVID-19. This includes covering essential practices for passwords and accounts, email security, PC security, and web browsing. Sounds basic, right? Not taking care of this stuff makes you an easy target in the digital space.
So what next? Well, we’re sure you will agree that hope is not a strategy. As we discussed already, cybercrime is a lucrative business and it’s becoming ever more prevalent.
If you haven’t already, why not register for one of our free Cyber Security audits. There are no strings attached and we’ll spend 30 minutes on a call with you to share the results, identifying any security holes in your technical infrastructure plus ensuring you’re aware of relevant legislation and your legal responsibilities.