Small business cyber-attacks on the rise

Global and Australian businesses have been under cyber-attack in recent years, including the recent breach of a billion Yahoo accounts. Locally we have seen Aussie Farmers Direct and K-mart under attack, and who could forget the 2016 census debacle?

The Australian Government estimates the impact of ransomware on the Australian economy is around two billion dollars every year, and growing.

But what many of us don’t realise is the number of small and medium-sized businesses caught-up in this underhanded trend.

Any organisation, big or small, can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, with the most common known as ‘phishing.’ This involves cyber criminals pretending to be a colleague or management and emailing staff, from what appears to be a company email address, with a request to send top secret company information.

The email can contain instructions that the worker may believe are legitimate, such as clicking a link that installs malware or captures login information. Some cyber criminals even go as far as requesting a money transfer to another businesses bank account.

Because email is the most common form of communication in business, attackers will continue to find new ways to trick even the most diligent staff.

According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2016, Australia had the largest number of cyber security attacks world-wide, almost 9,500 between 2014-15. This was an increase of 109 per cent, compared to a 38.5 per cent increase globally.

So, what’s 3 tips to protect your business from a cyber-attack?

  1. Educate your workers so they know what to look for and be suspicious of. Create a process they can follow if they suspect a dodgy email.
  2. Invest in technology that can detect fake emails by automatically examining the reputation of the sender.
  3. Prioritise cyber security – instead of just being reactive, plan ahead by identifying vulnerabilities and have systems, technology and processes in place to protect against attacks.

If you need any assistance with your cyber security or you don’t know where to start please call us on  1300 478 738 or email us at

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About the author:

Picture of Ash Klemm

Ash Klemm

Ash has over 20 years of experience in sales and marketing. His journey from a casual salesperson at Chandlers to State Manager at a national IT distribution company, while battling health issues, including a double lung transplant in 2015, gave him the experience, know-how, tenacity, and marketing insight, to find solutions and help businesses grow. After spending several years in the ivory tower of state management, Ash missed the genuine connection of face to face meetings and helping make a difference to businesses in need. His authentic, conversational, and easy-going nature helps our customers feel at ease and shows them we are a brand to trust. Ash spends his days advocating for our customers to ensure they receive the best possible service in a timely fashion. Ash is also the in house chair builder. His curiosity and natural problem-solving ability make him the perfect first call for all our new customers to help determine what is wrong, how Surety IT can help and what the best solutions are moving forward.
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