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Top 10 cyber security risks and how to mitigate them

March 16, 2020

Cyber security attacks are on the rise. In 2016-2017, 47,000 attacks were recorded in Australia according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).

Cyber security risks or threats are malicious acts which set out to steal or damage an organisation’s data or disrupt operations.

So what are the top 10 cyber security risks to your business?

  1. Malware. Software that is embedded on a device or network to corrupt data or hijack a system. Malware attacks can also occur on mobile apps.
  1. Phishing. Emails which trick recipients into sharing confidential information or downloading malware.
  1. Spear Phishing. Targeted form of phishing where the attacker pretends to know the recipient or impersonates someone they know.
  1. “Man in the Middle” (MitM) attack. Where an attacker eavesdrops on, intercepts and modifies digital messages.
  1. Trojans. A type of malware that appears to be legitimate software but can take over a system.
  1. Ransomware. A form of malware that encrypts the victim's files. The attacker demands a ransom to restore access.
  1. Denial of Service attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS). Where an attacker floods a system using multiple devices, to crash or disrupt service.
  1. Attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) Devices. IoT devices refers to any device - simple or comprehensive - which connects to the internet.
  1. Data Breaches. A data breach is a theft of data.
  1. Employee caused data breaches. These may be malicious internal breaches or accidental breaches caused by employees.

How can organisations mitigate these cyber security risks?

  • Establishing appropriate password protocols and policies including ensuring passwords are strong, regularly changed and not shared.
  • Introducing a cyber security policy to ensure best practice procedures are in place and training staff on those protocols.
  • Securing third party cloud applications through adding two way authentication via SMS or a mobile app such as Google, Microsoft authenticator or Authy.
  • Ensuring operating systems are up to date and installing antivirus software on the organisation’s and employees’ devices where appropriate.

The best way to protect your organisation from cyber attacks is to partner with an IT provider who can assess your organisation’s cyber security vulnerabilities and put the right safeguards in place.

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