Cyber Security Awareness Month is here and the national theme is Be cyber wise – don’t compromise.
While we think every month should be Cyber Security Awareness Month, it serves as an annual reminder to level up the security of your online presence because we all play a part in making Australia a secure place to do business online.
Recent findings from the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) Annual Threat Report indicate that during the 2021-22 fiscal year, a cyber crime was reported every 7 minutes. This is a 13% surge from the preceding financial year. So in line with the ACSC’s cyber wise theme, you can take 4 simple steps to help reduce this number.
1. Update devices regularly
Wherever possible, activate automatic updates for all your devices and software to ensure you receive the latest security patches. When automatic updates are not available, schedule in time to check for patches and install them manually.
2. Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA)
MFA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a code to complete sign in. Sending a code to a mobile device is one option but an increasingly preferred alternative is using an authenticator app. For help, check our guide to set up MFA.
3. Back up your files
Conducting regular back ups of your systems and data should be a standard business operating procedure. In the event your business is held to ransom by cyber criminals or you need to roll back to an uncorrupted version of your system, your latest backup will prove invaluable. For more on back up and recover, take a look at our business resilience resources.
4. Use passphrases and password managers
Good password practices are imperative. But remembering more complicated passwords or passphrases across all your applications is impossible. We recommend investing in a password manager which stores passwords and makes it easy for your IT manager to offboard employees when they leave. Our article Keep ahead with password management has more information.
Take it a step further
While these steps are a great start, we strongly encourage you to go even further and structure your cyber security efforts around the ACSC’s Essential Eight. The Essential Eight are mitigation strategies established by the Australian Government to help protect businesses from cyber threats.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider efex Cyber essentials. Based on the ACSC Essential Eight it’s a simple approach to cyber security that’s a great fit for SMB's.