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Massive risk to business exposed by cyber attack

“The cyber-attacks revealed by the Prime Minister today is chilling news that reinforces the message that businesses need to be vigilant at this time of increased geopolitical tensions and with the changed work practices due to COVID-19. It is becoming increasingly obvious over time that as these tensions increase in the new operating environment Australian policy makers are going to have to make hard choices and choose sides - decisions that for decades we have sought to avoid at a national level. This obviously increases the risks for Australian industry,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.

“Business technology systems are being stretched by the COVID-related working from home arrangements which take many employees outside tried and tested IT firewalls into their own loungerooms.

“Even businesses still operating at workplaces are at risk both in their own operations and through their many and varied connections into supply chains which would be a valuable source of corporate intelligence, financial data and all forms of industrial espionage.

“Just as no company is immune from cyberattacks, managing risk is not beyond the scope of most companies. The Essential Eight, outlined by the Australian Signals Directorate, is a set of strategies to mitigate Cyber Security Incidents that will protect companies from 80% of risks. This includes:

  • Mitigating known application control bypass techniques;
  • Raising the bar for less mature implementations of application control;
  • Expanding the scope of application control for servers;
  • Correctly identifying less mature approaches to testing restoration of backups; and
  • Increasing the frequency of testing restoration of backups.

“When assessing supply chain members, companies need to look beyond production capability and credit risk and ask detailed questions about cyber security preparedness.

“Businesses need to seek the best advice possible particularly given their current vulnerability,” Mr Willox said.

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Tony Melville – 0419 190 347