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Cybersecurity Protection or Rotten Potatoes?

What You Can't See Could Hurt Your Family Business - Badly!

Introduction

Being a typical 1960’s teenager, I was always on the lookout for opportunities to earn money. As fortunes would have it, I lived across the road from a potato farmer (in country South Australia). So, when the farmer offered me work digging up potatoes in a newly-ploughed field I jumped at the chance.

What I didn’t know at the time was the horrible experience that awaited me! There I was, in my farmer’s work gloves and wellies (the field was somewhat muddy following some heavy rainfalls) and about to embark on a new work experience. WooHoo! My enthusiasm for the job at hand, however, was rapidly quelled when my hand all but disappeared into the first rotten potato I tried to pick up. It was ‘squishy’, blackish in colour and had the most awful smell about it.

Hey –  I didn’t sign up for this!

Unfortunately, this rotten potato wasn’t an isolated case. I can’t tell you how many rotted spuds I picked that day BUT – I can tell you that the resulting stink permeated my clothes, my hair, my everything – for days afterwards. I seriously doubted that I would ever be able to eat potatoes, or even potato crisps again.

So what has this experience got to do with cybersecurity protection for your family business?

Please read on….

Cybersecurity Protection or Rotten Potatoes

It's What Lies Beneath the Surface That Counts

Cyber ThreatJust as rotten potatoes can remain hidden below the ground until dug up, security threats can act similarly.

Cybersecurity is a real challenge for businesses in the 21st century, and it’s important to make sure that you have good cybersecurity protection in place. In this post, we’ll talk about what cybercriminals are doing to try to hack your company and some of the different types of attacks they use. We’ll also discuss why it’s so hard to stay safe online and what you can do about this problem if you’re a business owner or employee.

Threats and vulnerabilities can be exploited in many ways, including phishing schemes and ransomware attacks.

Phishing schemes are the most common way for cybercriminals to get their hands on personal information, and they’re not always easy to spot. They can take the form of emails that appear legitimate but ask you for sensitive information like your username or password.

Ransomware attacks lock you out of your device until you pay up – and if there’s one thing we know about criminals, it’s that they love easy money! If they manage to lock down all your devices at once with ransomware (a type of malware), then it could be difficult or impossible for you to ever again access important documents stored on those devices.

Cybersecurity Attacks Can Come in Different Forms

Cybersecurity Protection ThreatsYou could be the victim of a phishing scheme. This is where someone tries to trick you into giving them personal information by sending emails that look like they’re from reputable companies. Often the email may include an attachment or link that installs malware on your computer. This type of attack is frequently covered in both Australian and international media articles and always with warnings about what to do and NOT to do regards cybersecurity. In fact, as I write this, there’s a story on tonight’s “A Current Affair” about a woman who lost $49,000 to this type os scam.

Malware is software specifically designed to damage or disable computers and their systems, often without the owner’s knowledge. It can take many forms, including viruses and worms – self-replicating programs that infect devices without human intervention. You’ve quite probably heard about “Trojans”as well (malicious software disguised as legitimate applications).

Ransomware is another type of malware that encrypts files until a ransom is paid by the user in order for them to regain access.

Denial-of-service attacks occur when too much traffic hits one website at once; this causes its servers to crash under all that pressure, rendering it unable to respond properly until things settle down again.

Viruses are self-contained programs designed specifically for attacking computers; trojans are similar but not quite as destructive because they don’t replicate themselves like viruses do.

Cybercriminals, by hacking into your device or network, can steal valuable information and cause considerable damage in the process. Such an event could have huge repercussions for your family business. They can also make money off of stolen data by selling it or blackmailing you.

Feeling concerned about your network’s “rotten potatoes” yet?

Cybersecurity Protection is Not an Easy Task to Undertake.

Look, we all know that cybersecurity/cybersecurity protection is a complex field. There are so many different types of attacks, and they keep changing all the time. You need to be protected against them all – and not just by one person or team either. What you need is a good team of experts who can stay on top of the latest trends in technology and be vigilant and proactive when it comes to protecting your company’s data.

So if you’re thinking about adding “cybersecurity protection” as part of your next business plan, please don’t do it! Unless of course you have the needed skills within your own business. Otherwise, it’s too hard! Instead, consider this alternative: Hire a professional!

Notwithstanding the aforesaid, it is vital that a co-operative cybersecurity risk prevention culture exists within your business. Therefore, here’s a checklist of new and time-proven cybersecurity principles and best practices for your organisation to prevent cyber attacks in 2024:

What follows is a brief summary of each of the 12 points above. For a full description of these points, please refer to the original article by clicking on the relevant link at the bottom of this section.

1. Establish a robust cybersecurity policy

A cybersecurity policy serves as a formal guide to all measures used in your company to improve cybersecurity efficiency. The policy helps your security specialists and employees to be on the same page and describes essential and company-wide information security practices.

2. Secure your perimeter and IoT connections

Security cameras, doorbells, smart door locks, heating systems, and office equipment — many of these are connected to the internet and can be used as potential attack vectors. A compromised printer, for instance, can allow malicious actors to view all printed or scanned documents.

3. Employ a people-centric security approach

A technology-centric approach to cybersecurity isn’t enough to ensure all-around protection, since hackers often use people as entry points. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, 82% of breaches involve a human element. A people-centric approach can help you reduce the chance of human-connected risks. In people-centric security, an important perimeter is the staff themselves. Educating and monitoring business personnel are the main things to consider for a secure people-centric environment.

4. Control access to sensitive data

Granting staff many privileges by default allows them to access sensitive data even if they don’t need to. Such an approach increases the risk of insider threats and allows hackers to access sensitive data as soon as they compromise a staff member’s account.

5. Manage passwords wisely

Employee credentials give cybercriminals direct access to your sensitive data and valuable business information. Brute force attacks, social engineering, and other methods can be used to compromise your personnel’s credentials without them knowing.

6. Monitor the activity of privileged and third-party users

Privileged users and third parties with access to your infrastructure have all the means to steal your sensitive data and go unnoticed. Even if these users don’t act maliciously, they can unintentionally cause cybersecurity breaches.

7. Manage supply chain risks

Your organisation’s vendors, partners, subcontractors, suppliers, and other third parties with access to your organisation’s resources may be susceptible to supply chain attacks.

8. Enhance your data protection and management

How you manage your business data is critical to your business’s privacy and security. You may start by documenting information management processes in a data management policy. Consider describing how data is collected, processed, and stored, who has access to it, where it’s stored, and when it must be deleted.

9. Employ biometric security

Biometrics ensure fast authentication, safe access management, and precise employee identification. Biometrics are a reliable way to verify users’ identities before providing access to valuable assets, which is vital for the security of your business.

10. Use multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication helps you protect sensitive data by adding an extra layer of security. With MFA activated, malicious actors cannot log in even if they possess your password. They would still need other authentication factors, such as your mobile phone, fingerprint, voice, or a security token.

11. Conduct regular cybersecurity audits

Conducting audits regularly helps you assess the state of your organisation’s cybersecurity and adjust it if needed. During audits, you can detect:

🔴 Сybersecurity vulnerabilities

🔴 Сompliance gaps

🔴 Suspicious activity of your employees, privileged users, and third-party vendors

As you would no doubt expect, the quality of an audit depends on the completeness of data from different sources such as audit logs, session records, and metadata.

12. Simplify your technology infrastructure

Deploying and maintaining a large number of tools is expensive and time-consuming. Moreover, resource-demanding software can slow down your organisation’s workflows. Consider having one or a few comprehensive solutions that contain all the necessary functionality. This way, you’ll streamline and simplify your security infrastructure.

Ensure that you hire the right cybersecurity company to protect your business

Make sure you hire the right cybersecurity company to protect your company.

Check their reputation. The best way to learn about a company’s reputation is by asking around, especially if you know someone who has worked with them before. A good cybersecurity firm will have no problem giving you references, and it should be easy for them to provide names of clients who are happy with the services they offer.

Ask for certifications and licences. In addition to checking whether or not your potential cybersecurity partner has been licensed by an outside agency, make sure they have any necessary certifications from industry leaders such as Microsoft. These types of certifications show that your chosen firm takes cybersecurity seriously enough that they’ve invested time into studying it themselves rather than just relying on guesswork when dealing with threats like malware attacks or phishing scams. NOTE: Cybersecurity qualifications in Australia can include a bachelor degree in computer science, information systems or information technology

Cybersecurity has become a big business here, as a consequence of the ever-increasing demand for such related services. What you will need is quality advice provided with value-for-money results. Hence, do your research well before selecting your cybersecurity partner.

SUMMARY

Cybersecurity ProtectionConclusion

The world of cybersecurity is a dangerous one, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right protection in place, you can keep your business safe from all kinds of attacks and protect yourself from the dangers that lurk online. If you’re looking for help with this kind of thing, we recommend contacting one of our recommended cybersecurity companies. They have years of experience protecting businesses like yours and will be able to give you some valuable advice when choosing an appropriate solution!

Bottom line: Don’t allow the “stink of rotten potatoes” to infect and affect your family business. ACT NOW!

How FBA Can Help You With Your Cybersecurity Protection

At Family Business Advisory (FBA), our purpose is to help family businesses succeed on a sustainable basis. As such, we provide you with access to specialist family, business and technical services with a goal being to generate opportunities for families in business.

In order to complement our own particular specialised skills, over the past several decades, we have developed a network of trusted, professional advisers in such areas as:

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Moreover, we work at all times to give you peace of mind and proactive support to help navigate any changes in the market brought about by legislative changes, geopolitical events and general market conditions – all to maximise your personal wealth and security.

These services are provided by FBA, in association with the Wealth IQ Group.

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