Cyber awareness during the festive season

Cybercrime is big business. Especially during the Christmas period.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre received over 11,000 reports of online shopping cybercrime last financial year – and with the festive period being a time of increased online shopping, the risks of an attack are heightened for many people and the businesses that provide eCommerce shopping solutions.

CMTG Managing Director Carl Filpo said cyber criminals will target people over the holiday period because they are more likely to shop around looking for the best bargains and therefore hop between multiple online stores.

Carl explained that cybercrime could impact businesses of all sizes.

“Larger businesses typically have more sophisticated systems so it takes a bit more ‘doing’ for criminals to access them, but bigger organisations are at risk of frequent targeting,” he said.

“Smaller businesses may not be the primary targets of sophisticated attacks, but are highly susceptible to more simplistic crimes.

“It’s very common to see phishing emails associated with things like vouchers and discount codes, which entice people to click a link and potentially expose themselves to cybercrime.”

According to Carl, simple tools like antivirus software are not enough for businesses to remain protected.

“Companies need to allow some budget for protecting themselves and look at several layers of protection, including multiple tools and other measures should a cyber threat arise,” he said.

So how can organisations double down on their security to maintain business continuity during the Christmas period?

Carl explained that there is no cookie cutter approach and no single product that will wipe out cybercrime for good.

“Firstly, people need to educate themselves about potential threats, which is one of the best ways to reduce your risk. There are plenty of resources available that will help to educate businesses and their staff on what to look out for,” Carl said. “Education and best-practice work processes should form part of an overall cybersecurity strategy. There are also security tools available and the most appropriate will depend very much on your IT infrastructure and systems in use. “Working with the right IT provider is another part of that strategy. “It is also vital to have a robust disaster recovery solution, as well as offsite backup, so that if a problem does occur, the business can get back up and running with minimal delays.

“Cyber breaches are happening all around us and that’s not going to slow down. Shopping online is convenient and typically, the pros of online shopping outweigh the cons, for many people.

“It just requires vigilance to ensure that businesses are providing secure online shopping environments.”

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