Protecting your Business from Cyber Threats

While many businesses were already transitioning more of their business online, the Covid -19 pandemic forced many to accelerate this process. All industries were effected by the pandemic in some form, with many having to change the way they do business to keep their business operational. While switching a business to be predominantly online may have seemed daunting, it in fact saw many businesses grow.

As doing business online continues to grow, there is a wide range of information and resources available for business owners via the government, software programs and industry groups. Business.gov.au have developed a digital transformation guide to understand the benefits of going digital and what that means for small business.

Once moving your business online, it’s crucial to ensure it is protected from any potential cyber threats. When online, business information plus customer information is stored therefore it’s imperative it’s secure. If a business loses or compromises customer information it will damage a business reputation and possibly have legal consequences. Cyber-crime such as viruses or malicious software and personal data being accessed, collected and shared is an ongoing issue and without effective cyber security you are putting your business at risk.

While there are numerous ways to protect your business from cyber threats, there are simple measures that a business must ensure are enforced as part of their day-to-day business operations. Read below for more information on some common cyber threats and how you can avoid, or reduce their impact including:

  • Ensure all devices and networks are secure and information encrypted
  • Always use multi factor authentication (MFA)
  • Use strong passwords
  • Regularly assess administrator privileges
  • Develop a cyber safe mindset in your workplace

ENSURE ALL DEVICES AND NETWORKS ARE SECURE AND INFORMATION ENCRYPTED

Keep track and record all the computer equipment and software that your business uses and ensure they are secure and that security software is installed and updated regularly on all these computers and devices. Set up a firewall as a gatekeeper to your internal network and turn on spam filters. Encryption converts data into a secret code before it is sent over the internet. This reduces the risk of theft, destruction, or tampering.

ALWAYS USE MULTI FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (MFA)

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a verification security process that requires two or more proofs of identity before access is granted to an account. This ensures if someone accesses your password and uses this to try to access your information, they will not be able to do so without another proof of identify.

USE STRONG PASSWORDS

Use strong passwords which consist of paraphrases with a combination of lower case, upper case, numbers and symbols. The stronger the password, the more difficult for machines to crack. For more information on passphrases see Australian Cyber Security Centre.

REGULARLY ASSESS ADMINISTRATOR PRIVILEGES

Administrator privileges and access gives someone greater access to information that those with standard or guest access. Regularly assess who has administrator privileges to your accounts and information. Cyber criminals will often look for these privileges to give them greater access and control of a businesses information.

DEVELOP A CYBER SAFE MINDSET IN YOUR BUSINESS

It’s important that all employees are collectively committed to being cyber-safe. Have policies in place that outline employees responsibilities and take the time to train staff on the role they play in protecting your business from a cyber threat.

BOOKKEEPING MATTERS MANAGE EVERYTHING FROM PAYROLL TO BAS PREPARATION AND LODGEMENT FOR SOLE TRADERS AND SMALL TO MEDIUM BUSINESSES

Bookkeeping Matters are in business because we’re driven to see yours succeed. We genuinely want the best for you and will go above and beyond to bring order to your finances, so you can spend time on the things that matter most.

Find out more about how we can improve the financial management of your business by booking a consultation today with June on 0423 003 552.

Sources:

Business.gov.au – Cyber security

Australian Cyber Security Centre – Small Business Cyber Security Guide

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers Client e-brief March 2021

Disclaimer: The information in this article is general information only. Bookkeeping Matters can assist businesses to adopt and implement changes for employees however, we do not interpret awards. We strongly advise business owners to refer to their Industry Award at all times. Bookkeeping Matters subscribes to an advisory service with Employment Innovations for assistance with client queries. Please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman Website for specific Award advice. https://www.fairwork.gov.au/

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