5 steps to protect your business against cybercrime

11 January, 2019

Cybercrime is now one of the greatest threats facing businesses of all sizes, and it's getting more serious every year.

The latest report from PwC reveals that 45% of Australian companies fell victim to internet crimes over the last two years. This doesn't only include small start-ups either, with 40% of CEOs saying they were “extremely concerned” about the threat of cyberattacks in 2018 – up from 24% just a year earlier.

As the rate of online security breaches grows, it's essential to have adequate corporate security in place to protect your sensitive data and your reputation with customers and partners. Follow these five steps to boost IT security, trust and confidence in your business.

1. Keep on top of the latest threats

Cybercrime is a rapidly evolving area, and what may have been adequate internet cyber security a year ago may not be enough in 2019. IT decision makers should keep up to date with the latest developments and all employees should be made aware of how to spot and avoid potential dangers.

If you're not sure what threats are facing your organisation, hiring cyber intelligence specialists to carry out Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing will identify any areas that need improvement.

2. Back up your data

If a breach does happen, you can minimise the damage and get up and running again faster if you make regular backups of all business data. This includes your websites, financial accounts, customer records, business plans and anything else you don't want to risk losing.

Making multiple backups in cloud storage, external drives or portable devices such as USB sticks at regular intervals will help to safeguard your data. These backups should be isolated from your main network, so they won't be affected in the event of a breach.

You should also talk to corporate security specialists about ways to encrypt your backed-up data so these files can't be opened easily if they are obtained.

3. Use stronger passwords

Online criminals exploit any weaknesses in a business. If any of your passwords can be easily guessed or broken, this could open the floodgates and expose your entire network.

Strong passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. They should not be words in the dictionary or well-known phrases. You and your employees should use a different password for every account you have, and these should be changed every few months. The longer your password, the harder it is to crack.

If you find it difficult to come up with new passwords, talk to a security specialist about using an encrypted password management system to securely create and save passwords.

4. Secure your hardware

Not all cyberattacks originate online. Many cases of serious cyber fraud happen when computers and other hardware are stolen from premises.

As well as making sure your office is locked when it's not in use, you can also secure individual computers and laptops to desks using their Kensington lock ports. You can also install software that tracks the location of devices.

Any time you dispose of computers, USB sticks or other devices, make sure any sensitive data has been thoroughly wiped to avoid it falling into the wrong hands.

5. Carry out due diligence checks

If you work closely with other businesses or you're planning to acquire business assets, it's important to carry out corporate due diligence checks to identify any possible risks in the target company that could impact on your organisation.

A cybercrime investigative agency can assess a company for you and identify any risks that you need to know about and ways these can be addressed. This can be especially vital for acquisitions in countries or industries that are prone to cyberattacks.

Find out more about cyber fraud investigation

IFW Global has an experienced team of cybercrime investigators who help our clients to protect their data and recover stolen assets in Australia and overseas.

To find out more about how IFW Global investigators can help you or your business, click the image below to download our free eBook: 'Online Investment Fraud.'

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