Cybercrime is big business, costing $1.06 billion in Australia alone in 2013. And while individuals are still targeted, cyber-criminals are concentrating more and more on companies as the pay-off is so much larger.
Many companies hold a lot of sensitive information about their customers, especially those that are involved in e-commerce. For example, US retailer Target had a security breach last year that resulted in hackers accessing the personal information of 78 million card holders. This breach has cost them $110 million – ouch. But the average cost of data breaches to Australian businesses in 2013 was no laughing matter either, at $2.72 million. When you see these kinds of figures, you can understand why breaches by malicious attacks on business’ IT systems have increased, from 36% in 2011 to 43% in 2013.
There are knock-on costs as well, as two thirds of customers are unlikely to return to a business that has lost people’s financial information through data breaches. An IT problem can become a big hole in your reputation and ultimately, your cash-flow.
Clearly, the risks presented by gaps in your company’s IT security are huge. But rapid developments in data storage, mobile, and social media technologies can make it hard to keep up with security risks… and hackers are constantly updating their methods as well. As technology evolves, so do hackers – breeding better mice as we stumble after them with old-fashioned mouse-traps. And, as the adage goes, cybercrime never sleeps with hackers operating around the world, often in gangs, creating bots and phishing systems that can function without supervision. Criminals don’t have to be in your city or even your country to target you – they don’t even have to get up from the sofa.
An additional issue is that many companies have a reactive rather than proactive attitude to the security of their IT system. This means that they tend to conduct an IT audit only after a breach, rather than checking ahead to plug the holes – which can result in major security embarrassments such as Greyhound Australia’s leak of personal customer information in April of this year. As this illustrates, waiting until the breach has happened is often too late – the hacker has already stolen sensitive information, or ruined the system beyond repair. You need to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate potential threats to reduce your system’s vulnerability to cyber-criminals.
One of the best ways to take a proactive approach to your IT security is to put your system through an IT audit. Though the thought of an audit makes most of us feel a little tense, IT audits help you spot and eliminate potential risks in your security system and give you peace of mind. They can ensure that your business is complying with the relevant security standards and provide assurance to your customers and business partners. It boosts your reputation in the public arena, which is vital currency in today’s marketplace. You can also use your audit as a benchmark for your security systems and processes for the rest of the year. Grab an IT Audit from CtrLit IT today.
Finding the best company to conduct an IT audit in Melbourne – or anywhere in Australia – takes research. Ensure that the company you select has a strong history of providing exception services to their clients. Ask them for examples of security breaches they have previously encountered and counteracted – without asking the affected company, of course. This company will have access to your most private files, so you really need to choose someone you can trust.