How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Cyber Attacks

October 26th, 2022

Cyber attacks are on the rise in Australia and it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and your business against the increasing number of cyber attacks that are happening online. Read on to find out tips for how you can do it.    

Tip 1: Regularly backup your data to an external drive and/or store it in the cloud

This applies whether you’re a business or an individual. Regularly backing up your data to an external hard drive and/or storing it in the cloud will make sure it isn’t completely lost if you suffer a cyber attack. It can also help you to get back up and running as soon as possible.

Tip 2: Use anti-virus or malware scanning software

Anti-virus software helps to protect your IT system from malware (malicious software) that cyber attackers can use to hack your system. Make sure you keep your anti-virus software up to date. This tip might seem straightforward and obvious, however, many businesses do not have appropriate software in place. 

Tip 3: Keep your software up to date

Make sure you stay on top of software updates from your providers. These software updates can include ‘patches’ to help protect you from known cyber attacks. Set your software to automatically update so you don’t have to remember to do it.

Tip 4: Use multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication requires an IT system user to provide two or more forms of identity before gaining access. For example, by providing two or more of the following:

  • Pin number
  • Password
  • Fingerprint
  • SMS code
  • Email code.

With multi-factor authentication, a hacker would need to access to your phone, email account, fingerprint (or another type of authentication tool) in addition to your login details. This makes it significantly harder for someone to log on as you. 

Tip 5: Use secure passwords

If a password is easy for you to think of and remember, then it’s likely to be easy for a hacker to guess as well. Make sure you use passwords that aren’t easy for hackers to guess. Use combinations of letters, symbols and numbers to make your password more “hack-proof”.

A tool such as dinopass can be helpful when generating passwords as it utilises random words that are not necessarily directly associated to the user.

Tip 6:  Make sure your business website has HTTPS encryption

HTTPS encryption enables your website to securely transfer data over the internet. The data is encrypted (converted into a code), which helps to prevent any unauthorised access. Websites that can transfer data securely begin with https rather than http. 

If your business website isn’t currently encrypted, you should talk to a web developer about getting an SSL certificate that will enable you to have HTTPS encryption. You should also ensure that you only give your data to websites that have https encryption. 

Tip 7: Ensure appropriate business policies and procedures for IT system access

In other words, ensure your staff only have access to relevant information for their role in your business, and have systems, policies and procedures in place to prevent any unauthorised access.  

Tip 8: Implement a firewall

A firewall is a security system for an IT network that helps to prevent unauthorised access.  It monitors both incoming and outgoing web traffic to ensure that information flow both ways are coming from (or going to) trusted sources. If you don’t have a firewall in place for your business IT system, you should talk to a web developer about installing one.

Tip 9: Consider Cyber Liability Insurance

Sometimes, even the most heavily protected businesses still find themselves victims of a cyber attack. This is why it’s worth considering a Cyber Liability Insurance policy. 

Cyber Liability Insurance helps cover financial losses related to a cyber incident. Depending on the policy, the cover can include lost profits, damages to your customers, expenses in repairing your business reputation, and any fines you might be facing.  

It’s a good idea for businesses to adopt security awareness training for all employee’s. Not only does this educate users on many cybersecurity threats, but also how to identify and report spam/phishing emails.  This could also help reduce Cyber liability insurance premiums.

Take action today 

No individual or business can afford to be complacent about cyber security in the digital age in which we live. Cyber attackers are becoming more sophisticated, so it’s crucial to take steps to improve both your personal and business cyber security. 

If your business doesn’t have appropriate software, systems and processes in place, it’s something that you should consider putting high up on your priority list. 

At Earlypay, we offer finance solutions to help businesses manage cash flow. If you’re wanting to invest in overhauling your cyber security but cash flow is a concern, please feel free to get in touch with us 1300 760 205.

If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].