Who's afraid of the big bad hacker?

Published on Nov 14, 2017

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 Who’s afraid of the big bad hacker?

Quite a few business owners actually and for good reason.

Businesses are increasingly alert to security issues, with Bitcoin scams hitting a number of businesses across the state, capitalising on out-of-date or minimal digital security systems and charging businesses to regain access to their prized business data.

Sensis reported that 94% of Australians surveyed are accessing the internet daily. Of those, 56% are accessing it more than five times a day. With 94% of users on Facebook, 46% on Instagram and 40% on Snapchat, it’s clear Australians are high-demand consumers of digital media.

Businesses are increasing their presence on social media to meet this rising demand. According to the Sensis e-business report 2017, 47% of Australian small and medium businesses surveyed have a social media presence, compared with 60% of large business.

With all this usage, digital security and the activity of hackers is a rising concern for business users.

Sensis surveyed more than 1000 businesses, and reported that the number of businesses concerned about hacking jumped this year from 69% to 81%. This worry has led to a number of SMBs relinquishing website ownership. The result for small and medium businesses (SMBs) is a rise in social media presence, even as large businesses decrease their social media activity.

How are we being hacked?

Hackers can access websites, social media apps like Facebook and Twitter, gain access to your hard drive via free or unprotected WiFi, or hack into your email account. For example, Yahoo was hacked spectacularly in 2013, while the wannacry ransomware attack earlier this year showed that Bitcoin could be used as a virtual currency for ransomware hackers.



Telstra’s Cyber Security Report 2017 showed that 59% of organisations in Australia have detected a security breach at least once a month, which is more than double the percentage from 2015.

Telstra also revealed that 60% of Australian organisations had experienced a ransomware incident in the previous 12 months.  Telstra further revealed that of those targeted by ransomware, 57% paid the ransom. Even more alarming, their research showed that of those who paid the ransom, one in three did not recover their files.

Telstra reported that concerns around hacking have led to businesses stepping up their security spend, taking advantage of new technologies and skilled IT security specialists.

What can you do about it?

If you don’t already have digital security for your business operation, or if you are concerned your existing security may not be sufficient, consult a reputable IT professional that specialises in cyber security.

If you have experienced a ransomware attack, remember paying the ransom may not get you your files back.

You can report any incident of cybercrime to ACORN.  ACORN also has further information on the types of cyber-crime you need to think about, and how you can protect yourself from cyber-attacks here.

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