Australia is a growing market for cybersecurity, fueled by rising digital innovation along with an increasingly severe threat landscape. However, a persistent cybersecurity skill shortage combined with inadequate security investment are also creating optimal conditions for malicious actors to penetrate organisations that lack the people, processes or technology to protect themselves from advanced attack vectors.
Cyberattacks increased dramatically in 2021, as criminals took advantage of continued trends toward working from home. Businesses still grappled with gaining enough network bandwidth and secure remote connectivity to ensure team collaboration and business productivity.
According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) 2020-21 Financial Year Report, there were over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13% from the previous financial year. In addition, self-reported losses from cybercrime totaled more than $33 billion. There were also 500 reports of ransomware, an increase of nearly 15% from the previous financial year.
The proliferation of cybercrime means organisations need to change their approach to combatting cyber threats by embracing cyber resilience. Cyber resilience is the ability to withstand and quickly recover from attacks, restoring data where needed, no matter the situation. By embracing cyber resilience, businesses can minimise the threat human error and malicious actors may pose.
The Four Pillars of Data Security
- Threat intelligence: Through a combination of web classification, IP reputation, real-time anti-phishing, mobile security and streaming malware protection, AI-powered threat intelligence platforms can process billions of data objects every day. By continually gathering threat intelligence, capable feeds can then predict to a high degree of reliability which are likely associated with malicious actors.
- Security awareness training: Regular and consistent education helps to empower end users to internalize common traps and understand what risks to avoid. Our own data suggests that ongoing exposure to phishing simulations can reduce employee click-through rates by significant levels. When based on real-world attacks, these exercises turn end users into a critical component of strengthening their organisational cyber resilience posture.
- DNS protection: Uncontrolled internet access remains a high-risk activity for businesses. DNS protection allows users’ web traffic to be redirected through cloud-based DNS security that can be fined-tuned to enforce organisational policies. DNS protection provides businesses greater visibility, security and control using encryption with DNS over HTTPs to secure the connection.
- Endpoint protection: Businesses of all sizes are under attack. A common entry point is through the endpoint. To safeguard them, organisations should incorporate cloud-based security that doesn’t rely on static lists to pinpoint malware. Remote management platforms give organisations a highly automated and low-cost tool for locking down this popular attack vector.
These pillars represent the pinnacle elements of a robust security stack. In addition to implementing these four pillars, organisations should develop a business continuity plan. This plan should consider backup protection as an extra layer of defence. With all these elements combined, organisations stand a greater chance of protecting their businesses from cyber threats. As the threat landscape continues to evolve and becomes more challenging to stay up to date, businesses will seek the expertise and knowledge of their trusted solution providers to keep their information safe, their teams connected and their businesses running.
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