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During international unrest, business must be on high alert for increases in malicious activity.
Small to medium businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy, creating around 7 million jobs, contributing to 57 percent of Australia’s GDP and cementing our reputation as a nation of entrepreneurs. They are also the least equipped to deal with cyber-attack and have a poorer cyber posture.
ESET Research Labs and Symantec reported, on 23 February, they had detected a new data wiping malicious software (HermeticWiper malware) on ‘hundreds of machines’ in Eastern Europe. It was not clear how many networks were affected or who was targeted exactly.
Further investigation shows the malware timestamp showed it was created in December last year.
Why is that important for Australia and our Small and Mid-market economy?
From recent times we know that attacks on critical infrastructure, services organisations and health organisations can represent a huge challenge and cause not only technical issues but most importantly impact the lives of many people as well as cause enormous economic damage.
The different industries have several options when it comes down to immediate cyber resilience, even if they haven’t achieved a level of cyber maturity and are still in a planning phase. It is important to act quickly, and small and mid-market organisation can leverage quick tips and advice for them to tackle immediate threats and vulnerabilities.
What to do to prepare if you are a Small-Medium Business – practical steps
Firstly, the advice from the cyber experts is the same: business leaders need to review their cyber insurance policies for the implications of any business interruption from a cyber incident.
It’s likely their insurer has exclusions for acts of war, or acts deemed to be taken by a nation state. If their cyber insurance policies do have these carveouts, then that further raises the importance of making sure their internal business processes are ready to minimise the severity and duration of any cyber incident.
Secondly, if the organisation is already on a path to align or be compliant with any standard, regulation or guideline with a cyber maturity model the great. Review and see if you can speed up or prioritise the most critical controls and implement them faster to minimise your exposure.
If your organisation doesn’t have a current cyber framework then think about small but important steps to minimise risk.
Being prepared is a milestone to resilience and can make a huge difference in protecting your business during difficult times.