Why Anti-Virus Software Isn’t Enough To Protect Your Business From Cyberattack – Part 2

Talkbusinesstechnology.com.au

Part-two in a three-part series outlining the best multi-level cybersecurity plan you can adopt to protect your business from cyberattack.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about cybercrime. There are the news reports about the large-scale ransomware attacks like Wannacry that affected 400,000 devices globally. Then there’s the small business down the road who forgot to back up their data and lost it all. Perhaps you’re thinking because you’ve paid for the best anti-virus software, you’re covered, right? According to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s publication, “Cyber Security Best Practice Guide,” 87% of small businesses think similarly. Be aware anti-virus software is not nearly enough to protect you from cybercrime.

Businesses now use multiple types of devices, store data in a variety of ways and engage with customers in formats and software that are continually evolving. Using anti-virus software alone leaves your business at high risk of cyberattack as criminals find multiple channels and opportunities to get to your data and systems. Ransomware attacks using malicious .exe files are becoming less frequent, as criminals begin to adopt harder to detect and more effective methods that utilise crypto-mining malware.
In part-one, we outlined the importance of having a multi-level cybersecurity plan. One that ensures you:

  • Undertake a vulnerability assessment.
  • Have patch management software.
  • Ensure all your devices, smartphones and workplaces are protected -not just your computers.
  • Use appropriate content filters.
  • Have a two-fold approach to email that involves software and employee education and training.

In addition to the above, it is also important to gather threat intelligence and prepare for attacks based on that data.

Threat Intelligence Gathering

Just as you would plan for competitive threats in the marketplace for your general business, you should ideally study the technological advancements that are occurring in your industry and where these could leave you vulnerable from a security perspective. It’s also important to understand and keep abreast of cybercrime generally. As a general rule when developing your multi-level security plan, include a threat intelligence feed. Threat intelligence technology utilises automated processes based on machine learning and data analytics to report on emerging threats. A good intelligence feed captures and compiles information on new threats, where they originated, who is likely to be behind them, how they are being delivered. Some can even predict where they may well strike next.

Back Up and Recovery

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, backing up your data and having a recovery plan and system in place is a fundamental component of your multi-level security plan. Good automated backup for servers, workstations, data and emails and a recovery plan should there be a breach in security. There are many back up solutions. Your MSP can advise you on the best option for your business. Remember, if there has been a data breach that the new legislation is now in effect and you may be obligated to report any attack.

Cyber Liability Insurance

As mentioned in part one, it is exceptionally challenging to ensure your business is 100% protected. That’s why in the unfortunate event of a cyberattack, you can now take out cyber insurance. Cyber insurance helps you cover the financial losses as a result of an attack. Similar to car insurance, there are first-party and third-party policies. First-party insurance helps to pay for the recovery of your data. If the protection of your businesses’ data is a priority for you, then consider taking out this style of policy or making it an add-on to your existing policy. Get quotes from a range of insurance providers and read the fine print carefully. Many policies vary in what is covered and what is not. Sometimes the physical cost of hardware and devices may not be covered should they need to be replaced. They may also not cover human error that led to a malicious file affecting your systems.

Third-party insurance is essential for any small business where a client or customer could say you failed to protect your software or data and as a result, they incurred a loss. This is often included in professional liability policies, but it is a good idea to check.

Melissa Denny from Llewelyn Insurance also said,
“Further considerations when shopping for a Cyber policy might include ensuring the policy has a worldwide jurisdiction covering cyberattacks from outside Australia, also knowing how the terms of contracts you have with software companies may affect your ability to claim.  Cyber insurance is evolving in line with the evolution of cybercrime, so ensure you keep up to date with developments with cyber policies as there are so many covers and variants available.  An insurance broker can help businesses mitigate cyber risk by aligning the needs of the business with one of the many products on the market, some of which only available through a broker.”

In the next and final part of this series, we will explain how to empower, educate and train your staff about all relevant things to do with cybersecurity. In the interim, seek the advice of your MSP and insurance provider and begin to implement the steps above. In adopting this style of approach to cybersecurity, you can rest assured that you are implementing a far more comprehensive strategy to protect your business than antivirus software alone.