Article Written by Katina Jaye Beveridge, ASBAS Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.

Former head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre and CyberCX chief strategy officer, Alastair MacGibbon, revealed that cybersecurity is now seen by Australian organisations as one of the biggest risks they face. The risk mainly comes from the possibility of data loss or business disruption resulting from a cyber-attack.

Ransomware attacks, in particular, are becoming disturbingly common. In fact, according to The State of Ransomware 2020 report by Sophos, 48% of Australian companies reported being hit by one in 2019. Globally, the rate was 51%. This just proves that no business, big or small, is immune to cyber threats.

Fortunately, cybersecurity is no rocket science. Employees and business owners can implement simple measures that, once understood and implemented, can effectively prevent or reduce the impact of common cyber security attacks.

Most of the time, small business owners and operators don’t have a lot of time and resources to spend on understanding the complexities of the digital world or establishing effective responses to potential risks. But setting your business up to securely manage your online activities can make a huge difference in reducing the chances of common cyber threats affecting your money, data, and reputation.

Businesses rely heavily on the internet to buy, sell, or communicate about their services or products. Here are some cybersecurity tips to protect your business and your data.

Tip 1: Invest in a reliable antivirus software.

Malware, in any form, can cripple your computer, corrupt your files, steal data, or provide backdoor access to other threats. Installing an antivirus can keep most known malware at bay.

Tip 2: Backup and restore.

Backup your data regularly, either to cloud or to external hard drives, to prevent data loss.

Tip 3: Browse the web safely.

Don’t visit sketchy website and never click random links.

Tip 4: Don’t open suspicious emails and texts.

Phishing is one of the most popular cyber threats, and it is often spread via emails and text messages. Being aware of the red flags means a lot in avoiding these online scams.

Tip 5: Safely share and send data.

Take precautions when sharing files using the internet.

Tip 6: Set up multi-factor authentication.

This measure adds a layer of security since it requires two or more proofs of identity before granting you access.

Tip 7: Use unique and strong passwords.

Protect your passwords for online accounts, particularly online banking, payments, and finance.

Lastly, educate your employees and streamline your procedures. Your internal processes and your workforce are important lines of defence when protecting your business from cyber security threats.