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BEYOND NUMB3RS

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Think before you click

By Pam Kloosterman

We now live in the world of connected devices where our everyday lives are affected by the internet or the ability to connect. 

Do you know if your computer has been hacked?  Every day it is becoming more and more likely that you will be, but there are steps you can take to minimise the risks.

Any internet attack is inconvenient for an individual, but just imagine what sort of impact it could have on a business’ ability to service their clients and run their business.  It is estimated that these attacks are costing the Australian economy around $17 billion per year.

Cyber Security is becoming an important part of your business

Even though you may think it is too expensive, too hard to understand and takes a lot of time and effort, just think what it would be like if you did not have any protection.  How much time and money would it cost your business?

We are all targets!  There are only two classes of businesses – Targets and Potential Targets.

  • If you have information

  • If you use technology

  • If you have staff…

You are a target.

Cyber threats

Cyber threats generally target human behaviour whose first instinct is to trust and drop their guard.  Threats come in all shapes and sizes and continually change.  Some examples include:

  • Spammed emails and spear phishing

  • Worms

  • Social network websites

  • Malicious websites

  • Removable devices such as thumb drives

How to assess and manage your risk

Businesses need to consider a structured approach to assessing their cyber risk and it is not a “once off” exercise.  You need to invest time in a tailored solution matching your exact business requirements and risk profile. Once identified and addressed, then you need to continue this process for ever and ever.

Don’t just assume that your staff and contractors know what to do. Educate yourself and your staff to be aware of these threats and how to deal with them. This training should be continual and provide timely updates on any changes or new threats to your staff.

Some handy hints

Digital Storage Security:

  • perform regular encrypted backups of critical files

  • encrypt files for transfer over digital media, email or internet

  • transfer encrypted files over approved channels

Internet Security:

  • check that the URL is correct and the padlock (in address bar) is green

  • purchase online vouchers or credits through official sites

  • use strong passwords, unique to each website and store passwords securely

  • regularly update your computer with internet security extensions

Social Media Security:

  • don’t share personal information such as holiday dates, birthday and home addresses

  • don’t share company or confidential information, especially if it is damaging

  • don’t click or open unknown links or files

  • don’t assume that the people you talk to are the same as the person you expect it to be as it may be a fake account

Mobile security:

  • always keep your phone locked when not in use

  • turn off Bluetooth, WiFi and GPS off when not in use, this gives people the ability to track you

  • make sure you sign out of apps and websites in case the phone is lost

  • don’t connect to an open WiFi unless necessary, this leaves you very vulnerable to a hostile attack

Computer security:

  • always lock your computer whenever you leave it

  • ensure your software and computer have the latest security patches

  • ensure that anti-virus and firewall measures are in place

  • protect your passwords, so that no one else can use them

Need assistance?

Lincolns is happy to let you know that we now have our own in-house IT specialist who can deal with all these challenges we are now facing on a daily basis. This means that any information provided to us is secure and safely stored.

If you require any assistance with your business’ IT, please call us on 9841 1200 to discuss.


Toss the boss

 

Over the past few months we have raised $2,000 for Give Me 5 for Kids by way of cupcake wars, curry competition, raffles, selling books and donations from clients - and for the pleasure of tossing our bosses into the icy waters of the harbour.

We would like to thank everyone who has donated along the way.

Special thanks to Craig, Paul, Brendan and Rob for ALL taking the plunge. We couldn’t ask for better bosses.

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