Security Solutions to New Threats in Cyber IT Security
Drastic changes anywhere in the world have happened since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, both beneficial and not. One of the changes we’ve seen is the transition of most companies to a remote working setup. This is absolutely grand but it doesn’t mean it’s scot-free. In fact, this brings another arena where cybercriminals thrive and where security solutions should shine.
Another Battleground in the Cyber World
Cybersecurity and cyberattacks have been issues of concern in Australia for years. But the exploits of cybercriminals have amplified when most business organisations adapted working remotely, jumping the number of reported incidents to 13% since last year.
With this dramatic rise, security agencies have warned that the cyber world is the new battleground for ‘actors’ who try to destroy and disrupt Australia’s democracy. According to Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie in an interview, cyber espionage is one of the greatest threats to Australia’s national security today. He believed that cyber warfare and espionage are tactics in favour of authoritarian regimes, seeking advantage through crooked means.
“Australia is being targeted by a range of actors, from state-sponsored actors looking to gain strategic advantage to financially motivated cybercriminals looking to make a profit, to motivated groups and even terrorist groups and extremists looking to disrupt and destabilise Australian democracy,” the Defence Minister added.
To further the data in line with cyberattacks, Australia has logged:
- 67, 500 cybercrime reports in the last financial year.
- Cybercrime incidents happen every 8 to 10 minutes recently.
- ACSC estimated that cybercrime has cost Australian businesses and individuals over $33 billion already (since last year).
- Cyber security incidents mostly affect critical infrastructure, including services such as education, communications, electricity, water, and transport.
- The health sector is the most susceptible to ransomware and this situation heightened when the vaccines rolled out.
With many Australians working remotely–the pandemic as the major influence on this–businesses have become a much bigger target for cyber attacks.
Recently, in July, Australia joined the US, UK, and EU in attributing the attack on Microsoft Exchange servers to China. The attack has put an estimated 70,000 Australian entities and businesses at risk.
What Security Solutions Can We Use to Combat the Threats?
As a response to the happenings all around us, the Australian Government has issued the Essential 8 Security Recommendations, safeguarding businesses big or small.
So what are these?
To lower the risk of unknowledgeable staff running malicious programs, whitelisting means only the approved and tested programs within your organisation can be used by your team members. Hereby, blocking/removing the apps which are not needed.
Having an automated application patching solution is ideal in every workplace. Patches and updates come with fixes for unknown vulnerabilities and can reduce the risk of hackers finding back doors to your system.
Microsoft Office Configuration
Microsoft Office macros are susceptible to delivering and executing malicious codes. But some companies can’t just block all macros, since their activity relies on customized Microsoft Office files. The best way is to configure the settings.
Configure all the apps used by members of your staff by removing any unnecessary features, such as Flash ads and Java in web browsers as they can become gateways for malicious software and threats.
Administrative Privileges Restrictions
Always put in mind that not everyone in your company needs to have admin privileges. Admin accounts give the user full access to the system, so one should be careful in delegating these. Hackers will always go for these accounts. In addition, if there’s an entrance of malicious software, it will be hard to spread this if the user doesn’t have admin rights.
Patching Operating Systems
Installing automatic updates ‘later’ or turning them off is a bad practice for operating systems. Many people do this because it can be annoying and time-consuming for computers to restart. But by not patching regularly you’re putting your device at more risk. In the context of a business network, this is extremely harmful. This is because malicious software is always looking for vulnerabilities to exploit.
Furthermore, you should never run an operating system, no longer supported by its producer.
Passwords can never give you 100% confidence in protecting your systems and network. It’s hackable and vulnerable. It’s a recommended approach to have multi-factor authentication. This applies to local networks and devices, remote access solutions (VPNs, RDP, SSH), and cloud services. Multi-factor authentication protects admin accounts and enhances the level of security in your organisation.
If all efforts failed and malicious software went through, it pays to have backups. You want to make sure you’ll be able to restore the lost information. This is so you can continue your activity with less amount of downtime. Daily backups of data, processes, and files are important.
What’s the Best Option?
Even if you think your business organisation will never be at risk with these cyberattacks, following the Essential 8 Security Solutions can be very beneficial for your organisation to reach its utmost productivity.
What can be the better option, if not the best, for you to safeguard all the systems in your organisation? Choose the most secure operating system available for your workforce, such as Chrome OS.
Chrome OS is seemingly the new kid on the block and hasn’t been tied down to years and years of basically doing the same old thing. Google has taken an entirely fresh approach when combating weaknesses in operating systems and applications, by securing devices from the ground up.
With the use of Chrome OS, you only need to address 4 out of the 8 essential security components, as the other half is only specific to faults in Windows and Mac OS. Chrome does not have these vulnerabilities, therefore managing the security of your organisation will be far simpler and way less expensive.
As always, if you want to learn more about Chrome OS and anything about Chrome and the Google Ecosystem, Onsite Helper is your trusted friend on this. Let us help you boost your organisation’s productivity and discover how awesome Chrome is.
Onsite Helper also makes sure that your organisation is highly secured and all its processes are well running. We have our Security Audit that checks your organisation’s vulnerability which may lead to data loss or leaks, potentially costing you much money. Just give us a call or send us an email!