How To Protect Your Business From Cybercrime
Digital transformation is an ongoing journey. Access to real-time data across your organisation to make accurate business decisions leads to increased productivity and a healthier bottom line. But that's not to say that it doesn't come with one major drawback if not handled the right way—internet data security and network risk.
The sudden burst of remote work has exposed organisations to a host of IT security threats. COVID-19 has shown us that we do have the technology ready for remote work, but have we mastered the workplace's online security risks?
The Importance of Cyber Security
According to Specops, Australia is one of the world's most hacked countries, listed as joint 6th in the world for being a target for cybercrime. Since 2010, the country has had 16 significant cyberattacks. Almost half of these attacks involved sophisticated cyber actors from China.
The latest malicious state-backed cyber attack directed at Australia took place in June and has been traced back to China. The attack was devastating; it was exploiting four critical vulnerabilities in public-facing infrastructure. The malware used in the attacks was Aria-body, and it was developed by a Chinese cyber-crime group named Naikon.
The coronavirus has not helped. Crowdstrike, a security firm, has found that in the first half of 2020, there were more potential intrusions detected than in the whole of 2019. Needless to say, for every crisis the world experiences, there is going to be someone out there trying to take advantage of this. COVID-19 has been no different with phishing campaigns and scams growing since March 2020.
Threats and Attacks in Information Security
Without wanting to sound as if we admire cybercriminals, but while the world watched the overwhelming consequences of the outbreak on the health system and economy in general, they were working at an incredibly fast rate on adapting old scams to the new crisis. Let's break down the threats and attacks in information security into two categories.
Web Security Concerns
As you would expect, new COVID websites have popped up everywhere, most of which were highly informative and practical. In the last few months, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has seen thousands of COVID-19-related websites being registered. While most of these websites are reliable and secure, some have been developed by malicious cyber actors. Cybercriminals would use these web pages to install viruses on devices. In the case of ransomware, the victim would have to pay a fee for their system to be returned to normal working order. Other criminals would steal usernames and passwords to access financial accounts.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSE) released the annual report, which stated the most common type of cybersecurity incident was malicious email. Email phishing made up for 27% of cybersecurity incidents with compromised systems coming in second at 24.4%, which just goes to show that we all need to learn better web security measures and how to make sure computers are secure. Email phishing gives the cybercriminal access into a network and therefore, compromising user information.
Cybercrime and Risks Online Statistics
The Annual Cyber Threat Report, which looked at the rate of cybercrimes from July 2019 to July 2020, stated that there had been a total of 59,806 cyber crimes at an average of 164 per day or, a staggering one every 10 minutes.
Of the 59,806 reported crimes, 23,841 (39.86%) were fraud. This means that Australians are more susceptible to scams than any other type of cybercrime. These scams included investments, shopping, and romantic scams.
The second highest cybercrime was theft and the misuse of personal information at 32.5% and cyber abuse at 22.15%.
Needless to say, cybercriminals go where the money is. Australia makes for a lucrative environment due to it being a financially sound country with an active online community and more and more services now available online.
Another report from Scamwatch reported a loss of $634 million in Australia in 2019 to scams alone.
Cyber Security and Ransomware
What are the dangers of using the Internet? Well, as we have seen, fraud and scams will continue to be a big concern for the consumer but the biggest threat to the country is ransomware. Ransomware might not be highly sophisticated, but the financial loss to organisations is only made worse by the halt of business activities.
Australia’s popular cosmetics brand ‘The Heat Group’ had to shut down all systems after experiencing a cyberattack. The company received a ransomware note demanding $40,000 in bitcoins. The IT department spent days getting the business back up and running and the cyberattack ended up costing the business $2 million.
Who Is at Risk of Cybercrime?
If your business isn't listed as one of the following industries, it is not to say that it is safe from computer hacking problems. The Australian government and Crowdstrike have listed the following areas at greater risk:
All levels of government organisations
Essential Service Providers
Operators of Critical Infrastructure
The Impact of Cybercrime
The impact of cybercrime is going to be specific to the company and the size of the attack. One study by ASBFEO showed that 43% of cybercrimes harmed small to medium-sized businesses. Of the small businesses, more than 50% didn't survive six months after the attack. Here are some of the potential impacts of a cyberattack:
Damage to electronic data - Electronic data stored on your devices could be damaged or lost. Recreating this data from paper records is going to be time-consuming.
Financial loss - This could be in money or in financial details or corporate information. You also suffer from the losses incurred while you are out of operation.
Your reputation - damage to your reputation is also going to cause financial losses because of the loss of customers and therefore sales. Once word of a cyberattack gets out, it is very difficult to recuperate that reputation.
Extortion losses - Accidentally downloading ransomware is going to cost you. Typically the perpetrator will demand a ransom payment in exchange for “unlocking" the encrypted files.
Damage to hardware and software- Even if your system isn't damaged, you are still going to have to invest in increased web security measures.
Legal costs- Laws controlling data protection don’t waver. Because you were the victim of cybercrime. There might be fines to pay, regulatory sanctions, or possibly negligence cases. You may need to hire lawyers or security investigators.
Notification costs- Depending on your state's laws, you might be required to notify anybody whose data has been breached. Though this might not cost you financially, it will still cost you time and impact your reputation.
Hidden costs- Insurance premiums could go up, and there are risks to loss of intellectual property, devaluation of your trade name, etc.
Australian government's initiative against cyberattacks
For Australia and the rest of the world, we can only expect cyberattacks to evolve at a rapid rate and to become more sophisticated. Persistent foreign cybercriminals will continue to find effective ways to steal intellectual property and private information. They will continue to take advantage of the fact that Australians are more connected online than ever due to the pandemic, and it is likely that cyberattacks and risks online will occur more frequently.
The Australian government is working on a strategy to improve cybersecurity for Australians and businesses. This includes an investment of $1.67 billion over a 10-year period which will be put towards developing new government capabilities and creating incentives for industries to increase protection for companies and consumers.
How to Protect Your Company from Cyber Attacks
eFax is helping those Australian businesses which are vulnerable to cyberattacks. To avoid revealing sensitive information to hackers, you can use eFax, as it protects every document sent through end to end encryption.
The main advantage of eFax is that It cannot be altered by malicious malware, viruses, spams, trojans, bugs etc. which affect internet-based communications such as emails.
In addition, the electronic fax is user-friendly, convenient, cost-efficient, and already used by 11 million users across the globe.
Here are some of the amazing features offered through Online Faxing:
TLS Prevents eavesdropping, tampering and message forgery
Protection across many businesses and industries
Advanced Encryption Standard to secure sensitive materials
How Does eFax Work?
Let's say you are a lawyer and you need to send a confidential contract or a financial company that needs to send loan term agreements, rather than sending them in an email; you can send the document as in an email message but to a dedicated fax number. Then click send. Easily sign, edit, and organize your faxes digitally with the assurance your documents will get to the right places.
There is no need to download any new software, and you can finally get rid of the dated fax machine that takes up office space. eFax allows you to send and receive faxes directly via email, a secure online portal, or mobile device. Not only this, but your employees will have the ability to send a secure eFax anytime and from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
Cloud-based fax solutions are much more secure. Correspondence via digital fax is done over an encrypted system that is far safer than an e-mail. While emails are vulnerable to hackers and data breaches, by using eFax you can be rest assured knowing that your correspondence is protected by layers of security that are impossible to penetrate.
Through the NBN adoption and by using eFax you are set to supercharge your online experience. If you’re looking for an easy to use digital faxing solution, you should migrate to online fax as soon as possible. It will help you avoid any potential disruption. The most secure and reliable way to keep sending and receiving fax after the NBN transition is by using an ISDN grade digital fax service such as eFax.
EFax is NBN compatible making it future proof for coming technology. Online faxing is hassle free, and it can be used to send and receive faxes quickly by using your own personalised online dashboard, another option is to send and receive fax using email or connect through the eFax app.
With our NBN compatible digital faxing solution you can reach out to people regardless of where they are.
Start your 30-day free trial now
Become one of our 11+ million customers worldwide, from sole traders to Fortune 500 companies. Start your 30-day free trial now. If you have questions about how eFax can best be tailored to your business, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 1800 283 361.