Some of the research into Australian small business indicates owners’ endeavours to stifle cyber threats are promising. 2017 Norton research into Australian SMBs shows they are intensifying their cybersecurity vigilance through Internet security sign-ups. But we’re still underprepared, writes Josh Jennings.
The Norton research is promising, yet other research reveals the brunt of Australian small businesses are underprepared for cyber attacks. Figures from the 2017 MYOB SME Snapshot of 400 small businesses found only 13 per cent surveyed stated they had a cyber security plan in place.
This is a concerning snapshot because having a cyber security plan is integral to maximising the effectiveness of cyber security technology.
So what steps should you take if you want to protect your business from cyber attacks but you’re short of a plan? Here are some of the important factors to consider in formulating a cybersecurity plan that will bulldoze cybercriminals.
You need a good policy
The Australian Government’s business resource website business.gov.au highlights that a cybersecurity policy identifies the assets your business has to safeguard, threats to these and the measures necessary to protect them. It’s good practice to ensure your policy addresses issues such as the scenarios in which business information is shareable, appropriate use of devices/online tools and storage of sensitive material.
CPA Australia’s document IT Checklist for Small Business includes a detailed checklist that’s useful for developing a cybersecurity plan and planning’ tips include fortressing your content management system, securing, encrypting and hiding your Wi-Fi and consolidating a data backup strategy.
Updating your tech
In a 2016 interview between Brett Hansen, vice president of endpoint data security and management at Dell, and Erik Day, vice president and general manager of small business sales at Dell, it was highlighted that the popular malware protection and antivirus software many people use is often too sluggish to keep up with the exponential proliferation of malware samples today. Traditional antivirus needs to be complemented with more reaching solutions that provide more extensive security.
Endpoint and data security technology such as Dell Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise is an example of a modern technology that’s designed to protect data and proactively halt 99.69 per cent of malware.
Make security every employee’s concern
2014 research of 1000 businesses across 133 countries found human error was implicated in 95 per cent of all cyber security incidents investigated.
To diminish the likelihood that your employees will jeopardise the security of your business, it’s suggested you regularly communicate your security policies, embed them in your staff members’ processes and ensure they don’t impede your staff’s productivity and efficiency.
Secure small business systems
The Australian Government’s Cyber Security Small Business Program is supporting small businesses (with less than 20 employees) to improve their resistance to cybercrime by issuing small grants (up to $2100) for cyber security testing by an approved provider.
To secure your systems, it’s also worth checking out the eight priority strategies the Australian Cyber Security Centre outlines, which include application whitelisting, daily backups and multifactor authentication.
Deakin University also offers a free short course you can complete to learn about the common cyber threats SMBs face and the strategies and tools available to plan against them.
Security audits are an important component of your cyber security plan but security drills shouldn’t be overlooked either.
In preparation for an incident, it’s a good idea to plan for analysing and documenting how the incident transpired, isolating affected systems, collecting evidence to understand the gravity of the incident, tightening network security and documenting findings needed for stakeholders and regulatory bodies.
Discover how the latest tech can assist you in protecting your business from cyber threats. Contact a DELL small business advisor today on 1800 33 55 06 or visit Dell.com.au/smallbusiness