The Significance of Data-Driven Culture in Achieving Digital Transformation Success

Beat cyber threats: Practice good cyber security and know what to look for

Ransomware attacks on infrastructure and mid-market businesses are expected to rise, with the increasing use of AI cyber tools by IT customers for better insights.
The year 2023 was pivotal for cybersecurity professionals in Australia, focusing on addressing data breaches and bolstering defenses with the new 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy. Rapid7 experts predict Australia will see benefits and challenges from AI cyber tool integration in 2024, while ransomware attacks continue targeting mid-market defenses and critical infrastructure for profit.

Trend Micro Incorporated’s data has revealed that Australia ranked among the top 10 countries targeted by ransomware operators, with 47 victims in the first six months of 2023. Earlier in the year, Trend Micro highlighted that Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) have the highest ransomware attack rate in the Oceania region (76%), emphasising that these nations remain prime targets for cybercriminals. The report uncovered a shift in ransomware tactics, with threat actors targeting smaller organisations deemed to have weaker defenses, rather than pursuing larger, high-profile targets known as “big game.”

Advantages of AI and Automation for Cybersecurity Teams

AI and automation will play a pivotal role in cybersecurity by 2024. The advanced AI and automation tools developed in 2023 enable automated detection, remediation, and prevention of vulnerabilities.

This shift towards automation is expected to alleviate the cybersecurity skills shortage, as certain analyst tasks can now be automated using cutting-edge technology.

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Anticipated Increase in Critical Infrastructure Attacks as Criminals Target Rewards

Ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure are expected to rise, along with breaches targeting personal data. Rapid7’s VP of Asia-Pacific and Japan, Rob Dooley, suggests cybercriminals aim for higher rewards through disruption.

Escalating vulnerabilities in mid-market businesses: how to defend against attacks.

In 2024, threat actors are likely to target mid-market companies due to their vulnerability compared to larger, well-protected organizations in Australia.

Limited in-house cyber security resources make them softer targets. According to Dooley, mid-sized companies often lack the capacity to maintain large cyber teams, making them more susceptible to cyber threats. Criminals aim to exploit vulnerabilities in organisations with fewer cybersecurity resources.

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Enhance mid-market defenses with extended Security Operations Center (SOC) support.

The Federal Government’s cyber strategy emphasises support for small businesses. Key initiatives include a voluntary AUD $7.2 million (USD $4.9 million) cyber health check program and AUD $11 million (USD $7.4 million) for personalised assistance during cyber challenges, like attack recovery.

According to Dooley, the mid-market sector could adopt a security operations centre approach, allowing businesses with limited cyber teams to collaborate with global partners for comprehensive security coverage.

Dooley highlighted the importance of partnerships for mid-market businesses, emphasising the need for access to tech, expertise, and 24/7 security capabilities.

Enterprises should consider vendor consolidation for enhanced operational efficiency.

Enterprises are looking to streamline their security solutions by reducing the number of vendors they work with. The proliferation of tools has often led to efficiency issues, such as dealing with excessive alerts and gaps in security due to configuration challenges. 

This shift is moving towards a ‘best-of-suite’ approach, where organisations will utilise two to four suites within their operations, rather than relying solely on ‘best-of-breed’ solutions. This trend towards consolidating security vendors is gaining momentum globally. In 2022, Gartner reported that 75% of organisations aimed to minimize vendor numbers to enhance simplicity, capitalise on commonalities, decrease administrative overhead, and deliver more robust security measures.

Types of Fraud.

Invoice fraud 🏦

Criminals may compromise or impersonate a vendor’s email account to manipulate bank details on invoices. This leads to customers inadvertently sending payments to the wrong accounts. For insights on preventing business email compromise, check out our guidance.

Phishing emails and texts 📧

Phishing is a method used by cybercriminals to deceive individuals into divulging personal information. This is achieved through the transmission of deceptive emails or text messages mimicking trusted sources. These fraudulent schemes may contain links to counterfeit login pages or attachments. Succumbing to these scams can lead to financial loss, compromised account security, or identity theft. An instance includes receiving an email with a link to a fraudulent banking site requesting login credentials. Disclosing this information puts your accounts at risk. Be cautious of phishing attempts to safeguard your online security.

Remote access scams 💻

Remote access scams occur when a malicious actor gains unauthorised entry to your system or device from a different location. This can happen when you unknowingly click on a deceptive link or download software, granting them access. For instance, individuals posing as tech experts may request access to your system under false pretenses to exploit your device. Protect yourself from these threats by staying vigilant and cautious online.

Identity theft 🥷🏻

Identity theft occurs when a cybercriminal gains access to personal documents like passports, licenses, or birth certificates stored on electronic devices or emails to steal one’s identity. This malicious act can lead to unauthorised withdrawals from financial accounts or fraudulent applications for credit cards and bank loans in the victim’s name.

Threats & extortion 💰

Scammers use threatening tactics to coerce individuals into giving them money. They target vulnerable groups like seniors and migrants, often posing as government officials from agencies such as the Department of Home Affairs or the Australian Federal Police. These deceitful tactics include false claims about visa or immigration issues and demands for payment to avoid deportation. Another scheme involves cybercriminals impersonating the Australian Taxation Office to request payment for alleged tax debts, accompanied by threats of legal consequences for non-compliance.

Dating and romance scams 💖

Cybercriminals target individuals on dating platforms by assuming false identities. They initiate relationships on the site, then shift to private channels to evade platform safety measures. Through emails or texts, scammers manipulate victims, often through fake profiles or stolen identities. Their tactic involves rapidly establishing trust before soliciting money, gifts, or personal details.

Investment or cryptocurrency scams 💳

Cybercriminals lure victims with investment schemes promising high returns quickly. These scams often involve time-sensitive offers to rush you into a decision. Incorporating strength training into a runner’s regimen is essential for sustaining improved speed and performance over time.

Look to add a cyber security specialist to your team? 

Fletcher Hanneysee
Fletcher Hanneysee

Divisional Director – Infrastructure & Project Services

Fletcher’s expertise lies in Recruitment consulting and business development management.His experience and skills make him a seasoned professional in talent acquisition, and he possesses a deep understanding of the continuously changing technology landscape.

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