But so too is the level of risk; risk to people’s lives and risk to business operations and security. The internet’s speed, convenience and lack of borders is making crimes such as financial theft and access to confidential information easier to carry out.
Increasing the awareness of cyber security
Cyber security has become a focus for many businesses, organisations and individuals due to a number of high-profile attacks in recent times. This includes the recent Census in Australia and the leaking of personal information from Blood donors from the Australian Red Cross in October. This isn’t necessarily a new threat for businesses and individuals; it’s just that the implications of cyber risks are becoming of increasing concern for our internet-connected lifestyles and business operations. It was a simple denial of service attack that impacted the Census. But what if the attacks were more malicious – designed to attack electronic infrastructure we take for granted every day. Imagine not being able to pay for our groceries due to eftpos or ATMs not working – or attacks on our power generation systems that can have wide-ranging impacts with devastating consequences.
The greatest concern for businesses
Advisian has recently been involved in examining critical network infrastructure to map the stakeholders, systems and information transferred between the various users, systems, regulatory portals and the operating technology (equipment) used for ensuing that our economy keeps running at its optimal level.
Concerning, a large amount of the equipment used is now becoming connected to a network. This may be a private network, but how private is it? How well are your trusted partners that have access to your network protected and managed? What are the consequences of it’s not operating as desired – will it significantly impact on your ability to operate, or worse, harm your employees?
How to manage your cyber security risk
Threats are ever emerging. What was once science fiction of hardware embedded Trojans has shown to be a real threat – albeit not as common as spam and malware.
Advisian recommends to our clients to consider cyber security risk as part of a normal risk management process. Properly identifying the risks, the criticality of your systems, is an important part of ensuring operational resilience. A business’ view on the importance of the confidentiality of information, accessibility to systems, and the integrity of data, all lead to a balanced response to identifying these risks.
Simple steps people can take are often the most beneficial, including regularly changing passwords and ensuring they contain numbers and symbols for greater strength. However, nothing can replace preparation and risk-based programs to ensure that your cyber security is not compromised by poor practices.