Cyber security is arguably the most pressing challenge for Australian organisations in 2020, with COVID-19 spurring a sharp uptick in malicious activity as the network becomes an even more critical asset for more organisations - and people – across every industry.
As organised criminals remain ahead of the curve when it comes to hacking technologies and techniques, state actors have also been revealed to be upping their cyber espionage activities.
The upshot is that any organisation with valuable and / or sensitive data needs to be especially vigilant and ensure they have appropriate infrastructure in place to secure it.
The potential immediate economic losses stemming from cyber-attacks shouldn’t be underestimated, nor the reputational brand damage that can quickly arise in today’s hyper-connected digital world.
And now we have the added layer of regulatory scrutiny, with Australia’s NDB (Notifiable Data Breach) laws turning two in February this year.
In August 2019, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reported 245 breach notifications by Australian organisations for the three months to June 30, a 14% increase on the previous three month period, underscoring the upward trend in cyber security events.
Security is critically important for any organisation as crime data increasingly reveals malicious actors don’t discriminate according to size or other factors.
However the reality is that while, in an ideal world, everyone would exercise maximum vigilance and deploy maximum protection at every node, it’s usually not cost effective, nor is it always necessary.
Smart organisations need to get the right balance between performance, freedom and risk, which means having a strong understanding of what data and systems your users need to access, and which network technologies are available and best suited to different parts of your operation.
Here’s some of the key security concepts you should know about in order to choose the most secure network solutions for your organisation.
A managed firewall prevents unauthorised access to your company network and blocks network-centric cyber-attacks. Today's threats are rapid, automated and can quickly paralyse a business. Choose a managed firewall with true edge security and gateway services for your virtual wide-area network, deployed by a credible service provider able to support you with firewall upgrades, patches and change management.
As the network edge continues to expand with greater deployment of mobile and wireless technologies supporting remote offices and a surge in teleworking, it’s getting harder to hold the fort. An effective endpoint protection solution should be actively monitored by skilled security experts in order to quickly identify, alert and neutralise threats to endpoint nodes and devices before they take hold.
The exploding volume of sophisticated malware, ransomware, phishing and other cyber-attacks make it critical for businesses to employ a comprehensive approach to filtering. Exploiting simple vulnerabilities in web applications like email is the stock and trade of hackers, so be sure to partner with a service provider that has the right resources and expertise to properly audit and mitigate against these threats.
Secure Network Technologies
It’s also important to understand that some network technologies have specific characteristics that can make them more secure than others, depending on how they’re deployed.
With Ethernet, for instance, the delivery switch is present in the service functions at ‘Layer 2’, which is not accessible through the Layer 3 network. That’s bad news for hackers and very good news for Ethernet-reliant organisations as their systems are largely insulated from attack.
Furthermore independent carriers, with control of their own networks can provide truly ‘independent’ services. This gives customers complete control of their traffic and data, as it doesn’t have to pass through multiple exchanges.
Looking at the wireless environment, intercepting and decoding data packets traversing mobile networks is something even the smartest military technologies struggle to do. Therefore there have been very few reported incidences of hackers stealing data in these environments. This has seen some organisations favouring fixed wireless as a high speed and affordable connectivity option.
It is clear that cybersecurity will remain a key priority for most businesses moving forward. While the configuration of processes, infrastructure and service providers may vary it is essential that every organisation understands the full scope of their security posture to ensure they are adequately protected against malicious activity and data breaches.
At Superloop one of our core philosophies is about finding the right balance between performance, reliability, freedom and security for our customers. Connect with one of our sales engineers today and start a conversation about how to build the safest solution for your specific needs.