7 ways to protect your business against a cyber attack

Cybersecurity is an issue for businesses of all sizes.

Updated 9 January 2017

Any business that holds information is exposed to a cyber attack. The reality of doing business in 2015 is that data breaches can and will happen – whether initiated within the organisation or from outside.

Recent examples of cybersecurity breaches include Cryptolocker, a piece of "ransomware" that encrypts your data until you pay the hacker group money, and hacks in which prominent corporations are targeted and intellectual property released – Sony, Ashley Madison and David Jones, to name a few.

This interactive infographic shows some recent data hacks.

Although it is impossible to completely secure business against these threats, there are ways to reduce the likelihood and impact of such attacks. 

Top 7 tips to protect your business against a cyber attack

  1. Reduce permissions on a workstation (i.e., application whitelisting)
  2. Set up auto-updates to implement security patches for your operating systems and applications 
  3. Set up your anti-virus software to update hourly 
  4. Ensure your anti-virus software addresses viruses, Trojans, spyware, key-logging software and warns against suspect webpages 
  5. Have a process in place to regularly review and replace old computers and systems 
  6. Ensure your employees are vigilant about potential phishing emails 
  7. Diminish the impact of a cyber attack with cyber liability insurance

In an intheblack.com live chat on the topic, expert panellists addressed readers’ questions and considered some straightforward approaches that can be put to use in your business. The transcript can be viewed below in the embedded window or downloaded as a PDF.

The expert panellists were:

  • Dr Micheal Axelsen FCPA, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Business Information Systems) at the University of Queensland
  • Drew Fenton CPA, Director, Fenton Green and Co.

For further resources, check out CPA Australia's cyber liability insurance toolkit.