The Australian Government has released their Cyber Security Strategy for 2020. It is quite of an interesting report that you could read if you wanted too, but here’s a summary and our initial take on it.

The report does a great job of highlighting the government’s co-operative approach to combat cyber security threats and attacks to Australian interests. It also highlights clearly the level of investment that they are taking within the government and business ranks to handle these threats.

However, we know that not all Cybersecurity risks can be contained or prevented by the government. The focus must be on expanding awareness of the risks to individuals and business alike so that we can all deal with it together.

A recent example demonstrated that scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation to gather personal information and financially exploit their victims.

The vast majority of cyber security incidents are targeted at the government, at both federal and state levels. The next highest concerned sectors are individuals and then the Health industry. This ranking shows that each one of us are more likely to be victim of a cyber-attack than an organisation itself.

The source of those attacks is also interesting. Indeed, the “nation states and state sponsored actors”, i.e other governments or their respective security forces, are key. They are focusing on attacking not only the Australian Government, but also our infrastructure. The scariest part is that they are very well funded, very sophisticated and very patient, which means that we need to be even more aware of “those little IT issues” that don’t look or feel right in our environment.

The motivation of these high profile actors is financial and/or disruptive for the most part.

The report also mentions terrorist groups and extremists, although due to the typical lower funding they have, the attacks are less sophisticated and focused more on hijacking social media accounts and defacing websites as a vehicle to spread their propaganda.

The key take away of the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 report are:

  • The threat environment is worsening
  • Human behaviour is almost always part of the problem
  • Small businesses are particularly vulnerable
  • Businesses need to take responsibility for enhancing their cyber security strategy

The report concludes by providing the readers with 8 simple steps we all can do to protect ourselves against cyber-attacks. It will come as no surprise that they are things that we, at Correct Solutions, have been talking to you about for years now. Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Privacy – be wary of what is shared and with whom;
  2. Passwords – create strong passwords to be secured (and use 2 factor authentication wherever possible);
  3. Suspicious Messaging – treat any unexpected messages with caution;
  4. Surfing Safely – avoid malware, stick to trusted websites;
  5. Online Finance & Payments – keep financial details away from the public (i.e: credit card details, bank account, etc.);
  6. Tablets & Mobiles – be wary of using free WiFi – you don’t know who might be intercepting your traffic;
  7. Backups & Protection – ensure you have solid backups, tested for restore on a regular basis and offsite for protection;
  8. Reporting – if you come across something strange, report it immediately to your IT team or directly to the Australian Government so something can be done about it.

It is great to read that our government is taking really seriously the threat of cyber-attacks. They’ll be spending billions over the next 10 years to help limit the impact on Australia and its businesses.

In the end, your cyber security strategy needs to be unique and tailored to your own requirements. At Correct Solutions, we have a team dedicated to IT security so if you’re not sure where you stand, we can help.