The Optus cyber breach reminds us of the importance of cyber security

The Optus cyber breach reminds us of the importance of cyber security

On 22nd October 2022, the Optus cyber breach resulted in the disclosure of personal information of more than 10 million customer accounts. Names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, email addresses, and even driver’s licence, passport and Medicare numbers were stolen in the security breach. A ransom was demanded and the data of 10,000 customers was posted on the web for anyone to access.

The Optus cyber breach is just the latest in a long list of security threats faced by all companies that digitally store customer data. The latest OAIC Notifiable Data Breaches Report reveals that of the 464 notifications that took place between July to December 2021, 55% were malicious or criminal attacks, 41% were due to human error and 4% were due to system faults. The most likely companies attacked were health service providers, finance companies, and legal, accounting and managerial services. You can also check for live security threats on the government ACSC website.

The cost of online security breaches is not just seen in the loss of your company’s data but also in the loss of customer confidence, reputation and trust. So, what can you do to reduce your organisation’s risk of an online security breach? 

5 Ways to improve your company’s cyber security

A lack of resources and information means that many SMEs are not adequately prepared for security breaches on their networks. Often, they believe that they can’t afford the type of cyber security utilised by large multinationals, so they continue to be at risk of data theft. Your best strategy is to contact a cyber security company that can assess your online risks and implement the security needed to protect your organisation. In the meantime, here are five strategies you can implement today to ramp up your cyber security.

  1. Enable two-factor authentication: To reduce the risks of data theft at your company, you need more than just a username and a password, you need two-factor authentication, even multi-factor authentication. 
  2. Restrict access to your networks: Only allow critical employees to have access to your networks as this helps to reduce the risk of a data breach. 
  3. Backup everything: Thwart ransomware attacks by backing up all your network data offsite or in the cloud so that you can still operate despite the cyber-attack. 
  4. Update software regularly: Most software provides free updates that include security patches to address current cyberattacks, so always update when prompted.
  5. Establish employee training: Train your employees about online safety and how to detect phishing attacks, ensuring that this training is kept up to date. 
How can Cyber Insurance help protect your business?

Cyber Insurance has been specifically designed to protect businesses that suffer from a security breach. Whilst there are many ways to prepare and protect your company against cybercrime, cybercriminals are constantly inventing new ways to thwart your security. 

So, if the worst does happen and your data is exposed, disclosed or stolen, Cyber Insurance helps with the costs of recovering from the event, as well as legal costs, cyber extortion, fines and penalties. If you’re not sure whether your company can benefit from Cyber Insurance, then a quick chat with an insurance specialist will help you make the right decision for your company and customers.

To talk to an insurance specialist today, find your local adviser here. 

Important Information 

This communication including any weblinks or attachments is for information purposes only. It is not a recommendation or opinion, your personal or individual objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into account. This communication is not intended to constitute personal advice

We strongly recommend that you consider the suitability of this information, in respect of your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it and, you should contact your insurance adviser to obtain and carefully consider any relevant PDS or policy wording before deciding whether to purchase any insurance product.

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