7 Ways to Protect Your Business From Cyber Threats

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7 Ways to Protect Your Business From Cyber Threats

Protect Yourself From Cyber Threats

Check out our whitepaper for the a detailed insight into the rise of cyber threats here: https://www.itro.com.au/cyber-security/

Thanks to Covid-19 many of us are now working from home. The internet is our means to keep working and ‘escape’ from our isolation. It’s the lifeline that lets you bring the outside world in, connecting you to people, markets, your teams and Netflix. And it’s exposing you to risk.

In business speak, ‘digital transformation’ is opportunity – opportunity to promote your products or services globally and connect, the means by which your business can adapt and keep operating through Covid-19 restrictions. Unfortunately for legitimate business, cyber-criminals were quick to identify and utilise the full potential of cyberspace and online connections for profit.

The digital landscape has changed irrevocably, and cyber-threats are an inescapable element of working online.

Now, with so many of us transitioning away from our secured office environments to work at home using consumer grade internet and reduced security measures, opportunities for cyber criminals are greater than ever, and often easier to conduct.

Cyber risk is real, it’s contaminated cyberspace and needs your priority attention to protect your systems and bottom line. The good news is, it’s within your control to manage the level of online risk you and your business gets exposed to by engaging itro, Managed Service Provider, to help you and your team become cyber secure.

itro Can Help

Foreseeing and proactively managing credible cyber threats to your business requires dedication and a wide degree of technical insight. To effectively manage risk, you need to be able to identify the ‘gateways’ within your business procedures, systems and various work locations that open opportunities to cyber-attack. You need to create policies to educate and engage your team in safe cyber conduct, conduct ongoing monitoring of devices and have the right solutions and applications in place to protect and backup your data and systems.

However, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed! The Australian Government has provided general advice to help your business stay safe online. Refer the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) ‘Essential Steps to protect your business’ at https://www.cyber.gov.au/publications/essential-eight-explained.

Use ASCS’s 8 essential cyber strategies to assess and engage the services of a Managed Services Provider, such as itro, to complement your team and proactively manage operational efficiencies and security of your data and systems.

itro connects you with a team of highly trained IT engineers whose whole purpose is to maximise the efficiency and cyber security of your devices, people and systems. itro has been managing IT for businesses and Firms for over two decades. We do not lock our clients into Fixed Contracts as we want our clients to stay with us because they love the service we give, not because they are contractually trapped.

Removing Common Cyber Threats

Do a little research on cyber threats and you’ll quickly discover most can be categorised into one of two methodologies. Cyber threats are designed to (1) trick end users – you, or (2) circumnavigate security protocols – your technology. They include:

  1. Email Scams
  2. Spear Phishing/Phishing
  3. Malware
  4. Crypto Lockers/Ransomware
  5. Human Error
  6. Password Failures

itro’s team of engineers will implement systems and tools to protect your team and remove common cyber threats to your workplace and home office.

Being cyber safe isn’t an impossible task, nor should it be ridiculously expensive!

itro Removes Cyber Threats in 7 Steps

As cyber threats are designed to (1) trick end users and (2) circumnavigate security protocols, itro decreases and limits your exposure to risk by implementing layers of educational and technical security measures.

1. Education

Everyone in your agency, Practice or business needs to be committed to protecting your data! Cyber security must be a team effort because it’s not something that can be addressed by technology alone! For example, whilst you absolutely need a firewall, anti-virus and email filtering solutions to protect your technical systems, these won’t stop emails with legitimate hyperlinks. But your team can!

itro can help your team avoid being tricked into giving away sensitive data or confidential information by educating them how to identify cyber risks within their working environment. Key areas of education include:

  • Safe email practices – double-checking details before replying to an email, such as sender details, attachments, hyperlinks, and domain names.
  • Policies to manage business contacts and email requests. For example, any online requests for Account details or money transfers should always be verbally qualified with a person to person conversation before being enacted.
  • How to identify risky or malicious file extensions, such as files that execute commands.
  • Managing the safety of their mobile devices, such as laptops, smartphones and USB keys.

2. Policy Implementations

Working with your senior management team or internal IT Manager, we will shape and introduce internal cyber security policies and best practices for your team to follow as well as provide compatibility and security reviews for new technologies.

Regular monitoring and updating of security hardware and software is vital to maintain premium protection. itro will catalogue and manage all devices with online capability within your workplace. We also highly recommend introducing a business-wide, enforced password reset policy with set limits on administrative privileges (who can access what across your business).

3. Device Security

itro will implement automatic updates of security operating system patches to your online devices, and educate your remote workers on the importance of regularly performing updates on their mobile devices.

4. Firewalls, Anti-Virus and Email Filtering

itro takes a three-pronged approach to blocking unauthorised or criminal access to your devices or network via email or malicious software.

Firewalls will act as a barrier or protective shield between your devices and cyber threats. All data packets sent to devices will be filtered by your firewall to identify whether they are safe and allowed to pass or blocked. Our firewalls and configured to monitor incoming and outgoing traffic, supporting deep level content inspection to prevent viruses entering your network and keep an updated and complete record of good and harmful applications and sites and a list of potential compromises to block attacks.

Anti-Virus software will detect and restrict the spread of malware by stopping unauthorised access or your network being attacked through mobile devices such as laptops and wireless devices (also referred to as ‘endpoints’). itro’s anti-virus agents wrap security around your endpoints by activating them as guards against unauthorised network access.

Email filtering involves the proactive interrogation and filtering of both content and context of email packages as they get delivered to your company’s email server, ensuring all mail is protected from malware, viruses, bots and unknown future variants before being delivered to individual mailboxes.

5. Multi-Factor Authentication

The safest way to protect your data and team is to operate ‘identity checks’ on anyone

seeking remote access to your business, to make sure someone is who they claim to be! itro will implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) to enforce credentials always get checked when remote access is requested, and unauthorised ‘visitors’ are blocked!

itro MFA involves adding an app to your smartphone which supports push notifications being sent when remote access is requested. Notifications are sent to your smartphone, which immediately alerts you to when a request is made and from which device. It will protect you from all levels – network, virtual private networks (VPNs) and cloud applications!

We also recommend you consider adopting password managers for your team, such as Last Pass or Dashlane. They are an invaluable tool to helping you and your team create and protect complex passwords.

6. Backup and Disaster Recovery

itro offers two levels of data protection: itro FBR and itro SBR.

itro FBR (File Backup and Recovery) saves files you nominated and backs them up to the cloud. This gives you basic level protection; lost, deleted, stolen files or images can be recovered and downloaded from the cloud.

itro SBR (Systems Backup and Recovery) saves your systems and files, onsite and in the cloud. This gives maximum, disaster-recovery protection. Everything on your device can be downloaded quickly from the cloud.

Our backup solutions incorporate block-level encryption to ensure your sensitive information cannot be stolen, lost, forged or misused, and restores can be activated from any location with working internet. Your data and systems will be protected from cyber threats, user error, hardware failure, insider threats (eg, disgruntled employee), file corruption and software failure or unintendedly accidents (eg, deleting a file or folder).

itro’s Disaster Recovery solution ensures we maintain the backup solutions, systems and documentation to continue your daily business operations wherever you have internet access in the event of loss or failure of your server or loss of access to your physical business sites.

7. Post-Attack Action Plan

We can help you identify and capture the various actions and steps you will need to work through should an event or attack occur. Then, should the worst happen, your team will already know who to contact and what steps they need to take to re-initiate operations.

The Rise of Cyber Threats

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) prepares six-monthly reports on notifications received under the ‘Notifiable Data Breaches’ (NDB) to help businesses and individuals identify any security threat trends and improve awareness of understanding of data breach risks and prevention.

Two key findings from OAIC’s latest NDB report for July-December 2019 note:

  1. the rate of data breaches in Australia continues to increase, up 19 percent from the previous reporting period; and
  2. malicious or criminal attacks (including cyber incidents) remain the leading cause of data breaches, accounting for 64 percent of all notifications.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (‘ACSC’, now integrated into the Australian Signals Directorate – ‘ASD’) reports the rise of cyber threats is linked to our increased dependence on the internet to conduct our business and social lives.

‘Electronic systems and digital information are essential for business and families, with most Australians using the web to bank, pay bills, buy and sell goods and services, and stay connected. While this digital age presents enormous opportunity, connectivity comes with exposure to cybercriminal activity.

The rise of cyber threats comes from our enormous appetite for online connectivity, and our failure to recognize and address threats that threaten the cyber security and bottom line of our business.

Check out our whitepaper for the a detailed insight into the rise of cyber threats here: https://www.itro.com.au/cyber-security/

Don’t become another victim of cyber-crime. Please give itro a call on 1800 10 3000 or email [email protected] today to find out how we can protect your bottom line through our comprehensive, layered cyber security solutions.

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