Aust & NZ
30th Sep 2021

Four Common Cyber Security Threats And How To Prevent Them

As many would know, nothing in the last decade has really evolved as quickly as technology. Growing exponentially in both speed and applications, it is no surprise that with more of our lives going online, criminals are too.

In Australia and New Zealand alone, cybercrime is estimated to cost businesses over $30 billion each year, with 53% of the cost attributed to detection and recovery. As of 2020, the average cost of a single breach to a business was $276,323.

You may have attended Paul Stanbury’s presentation on Cyber Security Outlook during our Top Gear Live virtual event in May 2021. It was an insightful presentation, so much so it was highlighted in GoAutoNews Premium by John Mellor as something dealers must look into.

To help you with protecting your most valuable assets, we’ve identified the four most common cyber security threats that are easily preventable but often overlooked.

“87% of SMBs believe that they’re safe from attacks with antivirus software alone… there is definitely a cause for concern. While part of an essential list of security assets, this not the be-all-end-all tool against the threats”

1# Malware and Ransomware

Short for malicious software, malware is the blanket term for viruses, worms, trojans, and other harmful computer programs used to take control of or spy on a user’s computer, typically to track user activity or gain confidential information.

Ransomware, which is a type of malware, blocks the user from accessing the device with intent of extorting a ransom fee.

How can I prevent this?

  • Avoid installing software from unverified sources
  • Ensure your operating system is up to date
  • Provide your employees with adequate cyber-awareness training
  • Use a reputable anti-virus solution
  • Back up data regularly and store it in a safe location

2# Brute Force Attacks

Also known as an exhaustive search, a brute force attack is a cryptographic hack that works through all possible combinations of a target’s password until the correct one is found. Depending on the length and complexity of the password, cracking can take anywhere from a few seconds to several years.

How can I prevent this?

  • Use stronger and more complex passwords
  • Change your passwords regularly
  • Set limits on failed login attempts
  • Use CAPTCHA on your website

The following table provides examples of different password combinations and their strength:

3# Phishing/Scam Emails

Phishing is one the most common forms of cyberattacks, where an attacker impersonates a brand, usually requesting sensitive information via dubious forms and links. Clicking on such links could also lead to unsolicited installation of malicious software such as spyware and adware. It is estimated that 94% of all malware gets distributed via email.

How can I prevent this?

  • Set a clear cybersecurity policy
  • Educate employees and conduct training sessions with mock phishing examples
  • Create a web filter to block malicious websites
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt all web traffic, especially for those working from home

4# Traffic Interception/A man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack

As the name goes, this attack involves intercepting data between a website and user’s device. Although this mostly occurs on public Wi-Fi networks such as those found in libraries, cafes, hotels, and airports; home and office networks can be at risk too.

How can I prevent this?

  • Be cautious of phishing attempts
  • Again, use a VPN to encrypt all web traffic
  • Never leave the router username and password as default
  • Conduct regular network vulnerability scans to identify weaknesses and potential exploits

In summary…

While most businesses realise the importance of cybersecurity, keeping up to date with the latest guidelines and best practice can be a real challenge. Having an expert on your side can help identify any weak points and provide you with the best solution for your business.

Think your business could use a free one hour audit of your cybersecurity? Get in touch with Damian Lupton today at 0433 877 734 or email to reserve your slot.