Thousands of Australian businesses are the subject of cybersecurity breaches and crimes each year. In fact, as many as 59% of Australian organisations are disrupted by cyber breaches each month, and this number is growing. With an estimated 2.2 million businesses actively trading in Australia at present, cyber breaches occur on average every 1.8 seconds.
Below, we investigate the factors driving the prevalence of cybersecurity threats, examine the types of threats you should be aware of and consider how you can protect your organisation from rising cyberthreats.
Factors driving cyber threats
The blurred distinction between social and professional spheres, together with growth in the internet of things (IoT) and 24/7 connectivity is having an immense impact on organisations and cybersecurity.
Merging social spheres
The line between public and private realms is evolving. Personal devices are commonly used for work purposes and vice versa. The BYO device trend has implications for the security of both personal and business data and information.
Improvements in telecommunications infrastructure and development in mobile technologies has changed the way businesses operate. Businesses are now connected and accessible 24/7, which makes security and monitoring a critical component of a workplace’s digital and mobility solutions.
The rapid rate of change in digital technologies has led to social stratification – not simply in terms of the haves and have nots but in terms of proficiency in understanding and use of technologies. This knowledge gap allows for exploitation, giving rise to the need for ongoing communication and training.
Understanding the types of threats
Cyberthreats aren’t simply limited to hacking and viruses. There are many types of threats with thousands of permutations that pose an ongoing risk to you and your organisation. We briefly consider the threats most commonly levelled at organisations.
Virus: An application designed to replicate and spread from device to device with the aim to modify or corrupt a device’s files and/or operation
Spyware: An application covertly installed on a device to obtain information without the users’ knowledge or consent
Worms: An application designed to replicate and spread among devices, often impacting performance and bandwidth, and used to gain access to your device to use it for nefarious purposes
Trojan: Malicious code hidden within a seemingly legitimate application to launch malware on a device
Other cyber threats
Ransomware: An application that restricts a user from using part or all of a device, unless the user pays a fee to the hijacker to unlock the system
Phishing emails: Illegitimate emails used to distribute malicious applications that allow cybercriminals to access a user’s private information, accounts or device(s)
Understanding the threats and how they can access your systems is the first step in protecting your organisation.