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Small businesses are being encouraged to investigate their cyber security more thoroughly in the lead-up to World Backup Day on 31 March.
With the increasing threat of cyber attacks from state-sponsored hackers throughout the world the Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued an alert and a series of advisories encouraging Australian businesses and organisations to review their cyber-security posture and boost their defences.
The ACSC has warned malicious cyber actors may target Australian organisations to conduct espionage, disrupt services, and steal money and sensitive data.
The Centre has published a range of resources to help beat cyber threats including The Small Business Cyber Security Guide that helps businesses understand, take action, and increase cyber-security resilience.
Also available is Essential Eight – a baseline set of mitigation strategies that organisations can implement to make it harder for adversaries to break into their devices and systems.
Based on the ACSC’s experience in producing cyber-threat intelligence, conducting penetration testing and assisting organisations the Essential Eight is proven to help organisations minimise cyber risks.
Michael McKinnon, CIO of cyber-security company Tesserent, said cyber criminals will be seeking to exploit the current chaos, so it is critical that Australian businesses take steps now to ensure their backups are air-gapped and ideally penetration-tested.
He added that organisations typically fall into either those who back up all their valuable data, and those who don’t.
“Whether it’s a ransomware attack, failure of critical infrastructure, or even through human error, we see organisations suffer the loss of critical data every year,” he said.
Mr McKinnon said a robust backup that involves testing recovery procedures is crucial for protecting data, which is an organisation’s most critical and often irreplaceable asset.
He warned that cyber criminals are now targeting backups before going after core data in order to make recovery more difficult for the end user.
“Backups are like the anti-locking brakes and airbags of the IT world,” he said. “They ensure your data remains safe no matter what happens. This World Backup Day, encourage all your team to review and enhance their backup strategy and processes.”