The way we look back on eras past is often coloured by the prevalent trends of the time. If you think about the old west, you’re picturing cowboys. The 1920s; a Gatsbyesque sea of flappers, jazz combos and people doing something called the Charleston. What will people of the future associate with the times we’re living in? Will it be that period of history where cyber crime was rampant and SMEs were repeatedly cut down by opportunists breaching their networks? Are we living in the wild west of cyber crime? No, we’re not, but we could be if you’re not prepared to be smart.

IT security has come a long way from just installing antivirus software. It’s not an area that any Australian company can afford to address half-heartedly, and the need for dedicated security staff is growing day by day. Unless this is your specialist field, it’s very difficult to have a comprehensive understanding of the risks facing your business, and even more difficult to protect yourself against them. A managed security service is currently your best bet of mitigating the risk of cyber attacks, and in the coming years this may very well become essential for every business.

A stereotypical hacker type.Will future generatrions think all we did in 2017 was sit in dark rooms trying to access customer databases?

How much risk is there?

The New South Wales Small Business Commissioner recently partnered with the University of Technology Sydney to produce a report (entitled “Cyber Scare”) around cyber risks to SMEs in Australia. This report had some alarming details. Almost 30 per cent of these SMEs have suffered from cybercrime, and many of the respondents felt they were less at risk due to a “limited” online presence. The US-based Keeper, a developer of password management software, reported that across the globe, 43 per cent of cybersecurity breaches happen to SMEs.

The increasingly popular Internet of things gives rise to a myriad of new risk factors as new entry points into closed systems grow exponentially. Further, hacking is no longer restricted to the upper-echelon of computer wizardry, as tools are readily available for anyone who cares to look. Third parties your business partners with may also provide a door into your network. You may have the best security available, but do your partners?

Small child hacking the mainframe.Anyone can be a hacker these days, all they need is intent. And maybe a nap.

What can it cost my business?

The Cyber Scare report also outlined that cybercrime cost businesses three trillion dollars in 2016. That figure is global, and yes, it’s trillion with a T and an R. Worse still, they expect this annual figure to reach six trillion by 2021. Here in Australia, cybercrime is costing us around one billion a year. There is no doubt the cost of improving security is much less than the loss of income and damages that could hit your company in the event of an attack.

What can I do?

The best way to mitigate these risks is through making sure your IT department is well on top of all potential dangers. Not only that, they need to move with the times to stay ahead of the curve. While this option is not financially viable for every Australian business, there is a more affordable way to get the same high level of security. This is through implementing a managed security service – outsourced tech specialists dedicated to protecting your vital data. To find out more about managed security, get in contact with LOOKUP.COM today.

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