Don’t put your business at risk - are you sure your IT infrastructure is secure?
Business leaders are not taking cyber security seriously enough here in New Zealand, according to internationally renowned cyber security expert Dr Ryan Ko, and their indifference to seriously harmful threats poses a significant risk to the reputation of their organisation.
The stats don’t lie either - research shows that in 2016*, one in five small-to-medium-sized enterprises in New Zealand had been targets of cybercrime in the previous year, a jump of 78 per cent from 2015. And this number is only expected to increase as cyber criminals continue to become more sophisticated with their attacks.
Complacency is a dangerous line to tread when it comes to dealing with the risk of cybercrime, but by ensuring you take action now, you will be able to decrease your chance of exposure to it.
The impact of cybercrime
In a previous article we have spoken about productivity, and how important it is to an organisation’s success. And this is exactly where cybercrime has the potential to severely impact on the output of a business, as 45 per cent of SME’s* in New Zealand who have been affected by an online attack say the biggest loss they experienced was due to substantial employee downtime. The financial repercussions for many may just be minimal, but of course, they could also be disastrous.
Aside from a loss of productivity, and the cost of being on the receiving end of cybercrime, there is also the possibility of irreparable damage to the reputation of your business. Something that could potentially never be able to be fixed. It is one thing to compromise the privacy of your customers, it is another to try and earn back their trust.
Providing flexibility without compromising security
In a technology-driven environment where 65% of people are working on employer-issued PCs - 53% are also working on personal smartphones. In fact, as noted in a recent study by Microsoft* 56% of respondents admitted to checking personal emails on company-issued devices, and are doing so for convenience sake.
Why is this important to address? Because a majority of the time, personal devices will not have the appropriate level of compliance as those belonging to a business - exposing private customer data and confidential information to malware and security breaches. But of course mobility, and flexibility, is critical to meet the needs of employees to work without barriers and disrupting productivity.
So how do you ensure you are able to meet both the needs of a mobile workforce, and the security measures required to protect your business from online threats? By taking two different approaches to cybercrime.
The right security doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive
The first line of defence against cybercrime is education. This means that everyone in an organisation needs to have a clear understanding of how they can reduce their risk of exposure to an online threat, right from the CEO down to front-line workers. A security policy is imperative, as well as a company-wide plan of what would happen if something were to occur, and the steps to take to prevent it wherever possible.
The second line of defence is the right cyber security software, and Microsoft 365 has an extensive suite of capabilities included in the Enterprise monthly plan. From data loss prevention, to compliance solutions and 100% protection against all known malware, Microsoft 365 is a complete package for businesses who want to ensure they are covered for any eventuality.
Are you prepared? Meeting the new GDPR regulations in 2018
In response to the ever-growing number of serious cyber attacks, the European Parliament adopted the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) - which came into effect in 2016. It requires all businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of European Union citizens for transactions that occur within the EU member states, and there is a strict compliance which all organisations must meet by the 25th of May, 2018. This means that any business in New Zealand with customers in the EU will need to be compliant, otherwise there could be serious consequences.
The good news is, with Microsoft 365 in place, you will already be a substantial way there, as Microsoft will be ensuring its Enterprise Security Suite will be compliant.
Business security is no longer just about having an alarm installed - you must protect your organisation online, as this is where the real threats now lie.
*Microsoft blog, November 2017, Infographic of cybercrime in New Zealand
*Scoop.co.nz, October 2017, Organisations in NZ need to invest in new culture of work