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Best Practices to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and an annual reminder for all Australian businesses to review their online security.

Is your business an easy target for a data breach? Give your customers confidence you can be trusted with their information”

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable as they generally have fewer resources dedicated to data security, which means a higher risk of data breaches, phishing attacks, and malware infections.

As a small business owner, the first step is understanding that you are a target. The next, and most crucial step is to take action.

What's at stake?

Your confidential data and intellectual property could be compromised in a data breach. This may include customer information, financial records, employee data or your internal processes. A cyber attack could also result in significant downtime for your business, which can cost lost revenue, customers and reputational damage.

1. Intellectual Property

If someone steals your intellectual property, they could potentially use it to undercut your business and steal your customers. They could also sell it to a competitor or use it to create their own competing product

2. Customer Data

Customer data is any information that a business collects from its customers. This could be anything from name and contact information to purchase history and credit card numbers. Protecting customer data is important for two reasons.

  • First, businesses need to protect their customers' privacy.

  • Second, businesses need to protect themselves from cyber attacks.If a business's customer data is compromised in a data breach, the business could face financial and legal consequences.

3. Financial Records and Employee Data

Financial records are a valuable target for hackers because they can be used to steal money or identities. Hackers can use stolen financial information to make fraudulent purchases or create fake identities. They can also sell this information on the black market. This is why it's important for businesses to protect their financial records from being hacked.

The Consequences
1. Revenue Loss

If your small business is hit by a cyber attack, you could experience a loss of revenue. This is because hackers can use stolen financial information to make fraudulent purchases or create fake identities. They can also release or sell this information on the dark web or black market.

2. Supply Chain Disruption

A cyber attack can also cause a supply chain disruption. This happens when hackers target companies that do business with your company.

3. Loss of Customer Trust

In addition to a loss of revenue, businesses can also lose customers after a data breach. Customers may not want to do business with a company that doesn't take data security seriously. They may also be worried about their personal information being compromised.


With these principles, we've put together a few tips to help you protect your small business from a cyber attack:

  • Educate your employees about cyber security and make sure they understand the importance of keeping confidential information safe. Your internal processes is one of the most important lines of defence.

  • Manage who has access permissions within your organisations and delete / update accounts and passwords when an employee leaves.

  • Create strong passwords for all of your accounts and change them regularly. Make it long (greater than 14 characters), unpredictable and unique.

  • Set up automatics software updates for your operating systems, software and apps

  • Set up automatic backups and regularly back up important data.

  • Set up multi-factor authentication, a security measure that requires two or more proofs of identity to login.

  • Install anti-virus software on all of your devices and keep it up to date.

  • Encrypt sensitive information to keep it safe from hackers.

  • Be aware of the latest cyber security threats and how to protect yourself from them.

  • Have a plan in place in case your business is attacked.

Help protect your reputation from security threats with ISO 27001

ISO 27001 Certification provides a framework for businesses to follow in order to create an effective information security management program. The program is governed by three general principles: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.

Confidentiality - information is only accessible to those who are authorised to see it.

Integrity - information can't be modified without authorisation.

Integrity - ensure data is not tampered with when stored or when being transferred.

Availability - authorised users have access to the information when they need it.

Use a certified ISO 27001 information security management system to minimise risk of security threats and strengthen your organisation’s cyber security with systems and procedures covering your:

  • Technology;

  • People; and

  • Processes.

Contact EQAS Certification now to get your information security management system (ISMS) certified to ISO 27001.

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