Online crime and cyber-attacks in Australia
The Australian landscape for cybercrime is rapidly growing, with many businesses falling victim to the advances of online criminals every day. And while we often read about large-scale corporate data breaches in the media, medium and small businesses are actually more likely to become a target due to their often-minimalistic approach to cyber security.
To help you as a business owner understand why you should be concerned with cybersecurity, we’ve put together a brief guide as to what could be targeted and how. More importantly, we’ve also included some good examples of how you can protect yourself. Take a read below!
What could be at risk?
While you might think that your business information wouldn’t be of interest to a cybercriminal, the reality is that just about any piece of data or sensitive information can be a target. If you acquire, retain or produce any of the following information, it’s important that your business is taking the relevant precautions to protect itself against unauthorised access:
- Financial records and data
- Client records and data
- Product design or business ideas
- Business models
- Intellectual property (IP)
- Patents (current or pending)
- Employee information
While all information can be a potential target for cybercrime, financial data is likely the biggest drawcard for criminals. For this reason, online businesses, in particular, can become vulnerable to additional risk if they are not adequately protected.
How can cyber criminals access your information?
While the ways in which cybercriminals gain access to your information evolves every day, there are a number of traditional and well-known attacks to be aware of. Some of these include:
- Breach of your website, payment processes or mobile app
- Viruses and malware that can infect your computers or networks
- Theft or remote access of your hardware and devices
- Social engineering and phishing
How can you protect yourself?
While it’s near impossible to ever be fully protected against online criminal activity, there are strategies and technologies that can be deployed to mitigate vulnerabilities and risks. This, paired with an understanding and awareness of the way hackers might attempt to breach your data, is the best way to approach cybersecurity.
Some of the simplest ways you can protect your information include:
- Updating your website, Point-of-Sale (POS) systems and other devices with the latest software releases
- Develop terms and conditions or procedures for staff to follow in regard to online security and the security of all company devices
- Develop an incident response plan to ensure you’re prepared to react should a cyber breach occur
- Implement network security, email protection and anti-virus software (with the help of a cybersecurity or managed IT company if possible)
- If you run an online business, aim to satisfy PCI DSS Level 1 compliance requirements
Protecting your customer’s payment details with a secure payment platform
If your selling products or services online, the way you take payment is critical to the safety of your customers’ payment information. Moreover, financial institutions will also require that you meet certain compliance targets to ensure the safety of their customers and yours.
At Latpay, we help our clients to take payments online through the implementation of secure hosted payment pages. Offering PCI DSS Level 1 compliance, every transaction is secured and fully encrypted to the highest standards to ensure your customer’s information remains untouched.