SecurityBrief Australia logo
Australia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Partner content
Story image

Cybersecurity starts with education

By Contributor
Tue 10 May 2022

Article by Sophos managing director A/NZ John Donovan.

In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 

43% of the organisations that had data encrypted paid the ransom to get their data back, with the average ransom payment being A$322,914. Safe to say, businesses are starting to become aware of the importance and impact of cybersecurity, but there is still a long way to go. 

Concerningly, Sophos’ recent report, The Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan, found many business leaders still see ‘cybersecurity’ as just another word, with half of all Australian businesses (48%) not believing their boards truly understand cybersecurity. Without appropriate education and awareness, businesses remain hesitant to invest in or utilise cybersecurity solutions, which consequently makes them more susceptible to cyber-attacks.

86% of businesses impacted by ransomware in 2021 said that they lost business/revenue as a result, so it’s no surprise that 95% of Australian businesses have indicated that their biggest security challenge over the next 12 months will be increasing the education and awareness of leaders and employees to the risks of lax cybersecurity procedures. Furthermore, 80% of Australian businesses believe cybersecurity vendors do not provide them with the information they need to help educate executives. 

With education and awareness firmly on the cards for Australian organisations and a perceived lack of support from the cybersecurity industry, many tech teams feel overwhelmed and under-resourced. However, by breaking down cybersecurity priorities and goals into manageable tasks, a more secure business is well in reach.

This five-step approach is an easy guide for organisations to address cybersecurity: 

1. Choose favourites 

Cyber threats are relentless and continue to grow in both frequency and impact. Unfortunately, it is impossible to protect every aspect of a business from every attack. Therefore, businesses should prioritise securing their most critical information, data, and systems. 

2. Help is available

Despite the perception that there is not enough support available to businesses, there is an extensive range of educational resources available online to help bring employees up to speed on a variety of topics. Courses like Sophos learning zone educates on topics such as basic principles, the genuine likelihood of an attack, attack vectors, threat actors, and other terminology that can be made available to all staff. 

3. You can’t just wing it 

Cybersecurity requires forward-thinking and strategy. Once businesses understand the basics required, they should work to develop a holistic strategy across business operations and integrate with digital transformation programs. This will ensure they aren’t simply reacting to the latest threat but planning for the next one.

4. Cybersecurity is ongoing

Cybersecurity is not a one-time investment. It requires regular maintenance and can’t be neglected once solutions are implemented. 

A business needs to continually scan its software solutions for vulnerabilities by running tests, be aware of new threats being identified in the cyber threat landscape and continue to educate and practice safe cyber hygiene. If businesses do not feel capable of actioning these tasks themselves, managed service providers or cybersecurity vendors can provide support. 

5. Know your responsibilities 

Cybersecurity is now a top national focus, with the 2022 Australian federal budget allocating $10 billion to assorted cybersecurity programs. Governing bodies have put laws and practices in place to ensure businesses conduct cybersecurity practices safely and correctly, and businesses need to understand compliance, the regulatory environment under which they operate, required steps following a breach, and appropriate controls around data security and management.

With 69% of businesses expected to have problems recruiting cybersecurity employees in the next 24 months, improving education and awareness of cybersecurity is more important than ever, especially for business leaders. 

Increased spending on cybersecurity tools can only do so much if an organisation’s leaders and employees aren’t educated on appropriate practices and cyber hygiene. To become effectively cyber resilient, organisations need to take a holistic approach, work with their cybersecurity providers, and prioritise education.

Find out more about Sophos solutions here.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
‘Windows shops’ target admin rights to de-risk their environments
New data shows up to 75% of critical vulnerabilities could be mitigated through a rights and privileges crackdown
Story image
Microsoft
8x more users attacked via old Microsoft Office vulnerability in Q2
"Criminals craft malicious documents and convince their victims to open them through social engineering techniques."
Story image
Cloud Security
Lookout named Strong Performer in 2022 Gartner Peer Insights
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Strong Performer in the 2022 Gartner Peer Insights Voice of the Customer for Security Service Edge (SSE).
Story image
Gartner
Fortinet attributes Gartner-reported growth to ZTNA approach
Zero-trust is slowly becoming a dominant enterprise security strategy for businesses, and the Gartner report highlights that although prominent, it is often underutilised.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Study looks at gender dimensions of AU security sector
A new study will explore solutions to overcome pressing skills and diversity challenges in the Australian security sector.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Claroty research unveils new attack that targets PLCs
Claroty has released research detailing a new type of cyber-attack, one that weaponises programmable logic controllers (PLCs).
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Concentric AI protects sensitive data with new capabilities
The new capability reveals sensitive data shared across email and business messaging platforms and highlights who has inappropriate access to content.
Story image
Ransomware
Sophos reveals latest ransomware trend impacting orgs
Sophos has announced in a new whitepaper that Hive, LockBit and BlackCat, three prominent ransomware gangs, consecutively attacked the same network.
Story image
Privileged Access Management / PAM
The importance of stopping identity sprawl for cybersecurity
The 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) shows that 61% of all breaches involve malicious actors gaining unauthorised, privileged access to data by using a compromised credential. Unfortunately, it is often too late when the misuse of a credential is detected.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Datacom research explores reality of zero trust in A/NZ
Zero trust is fast emerging as global best practice in cybersecurity and local leaders are on board, with 83% considering it essential to security.
Story image
Remote Working
Cybersecurity concerns higher than before the pandemic - report
BeyondTrust's new survey shows Australian organisations are more concerned about cyberattacks than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Story image
Data Protection
Safeguarding your financial data
As the digital revolution marches on, managing data security has never been more important. Here are five important steps to take toward better financial data security.
Story image
Cloud Security
Tenable makes additions to Cloud Security portfolio
Tenable has announced additions to Tenable Cloud Security that represent the next step in assessing threats related to cloud vulnerabilities.
Story image
VMware
Latest VMware threat report reveals truth about deepfakes
"Cyber criminals have evolved. Their new goal is to use deepfake technology to compromise organisations and gain access to their environment."
Story image
Australian Defence Force
Cloudera and ADF partner for e-health management system
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has selected Cloudera as a strategic data partner to help transform its e-health management system.
Story image
IDC
High level of Customer Identity & Access Management adoption
The study from Okta revealed that the pandemic has either accelerated or highlighted the need for digital-first strategies.
Story image
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Gartner names Lookout a Visionary in 2022 Magic Quadrant
Gartner has recognised Lookout as a Visionary in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge (SSE) and one of the top three offerings in the 2022 Gartner Critical Capabilities for SSE report.
Story image
Gaming
Attacks on gaming companies more than double over past year
The State of the Internet report shows gaming companies and gamer accounts are at risk, following a surge in web application attacks post pandemic.
Story image
Machine learning
Sysdig releases CDR offering to combat cryptojacking
Sysdig has unveiled a cloud detection and response (CDR) offering powered by machine learning to combat cryptojacking.
Story image
ExtraHop
Organisations exposing highly sensitive protocols to public internet
More than 60% of organisations expose remote control protocol SSH to the public internet, while 36% of organisations expose the insecure FTP protocol.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, NSW partnership to accelerate digital transformation
The renewed partnership is designed to maximise the value of Microsoft solutions to various NSW Government agencies.
Story image
Dark web
Beware the darkverse and its cyber-physical threats
A darkverse of criminality hidden from law enforcement could quickly evolve to fuel a new industry of metaverse-related cybercrime.
Story image
Government
Mandiant researchers uncover significant new disinformation campaign
Researchers from Mandiant say they have uncovered a significant disinformation campaign from the Chinese Government in the wake of U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
Story image
Ransomware
Big business in cryptocurrencies and cybercrime
As of June this year, about a quarter (26%) of Australians considered cryptocurrency as a good investment, and over 36% have at one point considered buying cryptocurrency as an investment.
Story image
Collaboration
Lacework launches new capabilities for better threat detection
Lacework has announced new capabilities that enable organisations to uncover more critical threats to their infrastructure and empower teams.
Story image
Email scams
HelpSystems shines light on impact of response-based threats
Response-based attacks targeting corporate inboxes have climbed to their highest volume since 2020, representing 41% of all email-based scams.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Education sector seeing highest volumes of cyber attacks
When breaking down the numbers to education attacks by region in July 2022, A/NZ was the most heavily attacked.
Story image
Data Protection
VMware introduces advanced workload protection for AWS
VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS delivers comprehensive visibility and security across on-premises and cloud environments for AWS customers.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new attacks by advanced persistent threat group
The attacks involved modifications of the well-known malware, DTrack, as well as the use of a brand-new Maui ransomware.
Story image
Data breach
Weak breach data disclosure laws for IP theft leaves vital Australian industries vulnerable
Infoblox has seen unprecedented levels of demand for cyber protection from companies outside of the Critical Infrastructure Act who have discovered security events and those who fear falling victim to IP theft.
AWS Marketplace
Learn how security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) enhances your security strategy.
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Australian IT security concerns higher than before pandemic
Australian organisations are more concerned about cyberattacks than they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.
Story image
Microsoft
Avast reveals zero-day exploits targeting Chrome and Microsoft
Avast, released its Q2/2022 Threat Report today, revealing a significant increase in global ransomware attacks, up 24% from Q1/2022.
Story image
University of Melbourne
The University of Melbourne implements data ecosystem with Talend
Talend has announced that The University of Melbourne (UoM) has selected Talend Data Fabric for its cloud data platform.
Story image
Mobiles
Demand grows for future-proof mobile access solutions
HID Global, in partnership with IFSEC Global, recently released the 2022 State of Physical Access Control report for the fourth year running.
Story image
Data analytics
Pressure on orgs to up their data analytics game - study
A recent report from Sisense highlights data transmission, analysis, and risk management remain top concerns for data professionals in APAC.
Story image
DevOps
Dynatrace extends application security capabilities for runtime environments
Dynatrace has announced that it has extended its Application Security Module to detect and protect against vulnerabilities in runtime environments.
Story image
Network Management
Superloop helping Aussie K12 schools with latest offering
Superloop has launched CyberEdge, a new cybersecurity platform that will give K12 schools in Australia the tools to optimise, secure and manage their network.
Story image
Data Protection
Zero Trust, but verify - finding the OT in ZerO Trust
The move to remote and cloud-based technologies has shifted the goalposts for cybersecurity. It now needs to cover multiple people, devices, platforms, and networks.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Dramatic uptick in threat activity with exploits growing nearly 150%
"While it’s not a surprise given increased attack opportunities like remote work, it’s still a worrying development and one we cannot ignore."
Story image
Biometrics
Can biometrics help? 123% increase in Gen Zs scammed online
In the three years leading up to 2022, the number of Gen Zs who fell victim to online scams rose by 123%, according to Ping Identity.
Story image
consumers
Data protection: How SMEs can secure online consumers’ trust
Consumers believe how a company treats their data reflects how they treat their customers, according to a new survey.