The basic defense trifecta smart businesses are deploying in 2020

2020 is going to be a game changer.

Businesses globally are looking to streamline operations and get an edge to stay ahead of the competition.

Savvy leaders will make sure their attention always remains on their core goal.

This includes keeping an eye on their core offering and making sure they nail delivery on all elements of their business.

It also means ensuring they keep costs down and sales up.

Highly effective business leaders take foundational steps to make sure business interruptions are minimal at all times.

Owners and decision makers of large scale manufacturing businesses through to highly sort-after local dentistry practices are always well positioned when planning is considered and risks to the business addressed early.

In 2020, cyber security remains a real threat to every Australian business.

Businesses looking to be well positioned in their cyber security defences work towards three main elements.

Cythera Services Manager Ben Cuthbert explains with his three top tips.

Watch as Cythera’s co-founder and head of Security Operations Ben Cuthbert shares his top three tips for defending against cyber attacks

TIP #1. Update your software. Now.

“First of all. Patch,” said Ben. “A lot of people disable software updates or hit the ‘remind me tomorrow’ button on software updates for months on end.”

“Operating system vendors are not just putting out new features or updates, they are often putting out urgent software patches and software fixes.”

“Be more disciplined in terms of keeping software up to date and keep your laptops and operating systems patched.”

TIP #2. Two Factor Authentication.

“A lot of the attacks we’re seeing are based on credential stealing attacks or phishing attacks. One way to try to thwart that is by adding two factor authentication.”

How does multi factor authentication work?

“You enter in your username and password and you have to add in something else such as a code sent to your phone or you need to hit approve within an application,” states Ben.

“It is just another way to validate that it is really you performing an action rather than someone that has stolen your account.”

TIP #3: Upskill your team

“Trying to upskill your staff is the third really big one,” Ben says. “Running a cyber security awareness program or having cyber security awareness as part of your onboarding for staff educating them on cyber security topics.”

Ben Cuthbert is Services Manager of Cythera, with a leadership team comprised of industry veterans with backgrounds as highly successful entrepreneurs, Tier 1 telco and IT security vendors.

Ben and the Cythera team are passionate advocates with a belief in the criticality of effective cyber security solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Find out more on the Cythera Security Platform.

Making enterprise security defences available to every Australian business

Well-known IT leader Euan Prentice has two missions in life. To visit 100 countries by the age of 50 and to ensure that every single Australian business has access to the same level of cyber security protection.

“Having a purpose attached to an IT company is actually a really enjoyable thing,” said Euan.

“I fundamentally believe that cyber security threatens all Australian businesses and should be affordable to all Australian businesses. That just hasn’t been the case in the past.”

With Cythera bucking the trend by bringing affordable, class-leading cyber security solutions to Australian businesses, Euan’s second mission is looking on track.

“Cythera exists to help Australian businesses protect themselves against cyber-attacks,” said Euan.

“Everybody faces the same threats today equally. Whether you are a dentist, a medium sized manufacturer or a large bank. You are subject to the same problems universally.”

Watch as Cythera Co-Founder and Director Euan Prentice shares why he believes in making enterprise security defences available for every Australian business.

Sitting within Cythera’s Melbourne Headquarters, Euan sheds light on the highly complex architecture that underpins the security efforts that Cythera deploys for clients.

“I think people enjoy dealing with Australian businesses located in Australia,” said Euan. “And staffed by Australians.”

Euan Prentice’s formal background was in law and mathematics however believes that IT has always been a hobby and therefor it has been his career.

“I have done it for over 20 years in a variety of roles from Project Management to Account Management and running and owning businesses.”

Euan previously co-founded the highly reputable and successful company O2 Networks with leading cyber security expert Craig Joyce.

“O2 Networks was an incredibly successful IT networking and security consulting firm. We went to large clients and advised them on how to build robust networks that were secure.”

“What we wanted to do was bring those skills to all Australian businesses. Not just the big ones.”

Euan Prentice is passionate about all things technology. From FinTech to Cyber Security, Euan has a proven track record of building highly reputable and successful IT companies.

Euan leads the passionate team at Cythera, known for their role as passionate advocates with a belief in the criticality of effective cyber security solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Cythera understands the challenges local businesses face protecting their business from cyber threats and has built Cythera from the ground up to support businesses to meet these demands.

Read more on Euan and the Cythera leadership team.

Security Operations head shares some of the common cyber threats facing Australian businesses.

Australians tend to be humble when it comes to announcing achievements to the world.

It’s our point of difference and what makes us so damn likeable. We’re sure of it.

Less time boasting and more time just getting the job done. That’s the Australian way.

When it comes to communicating how good Cythera is at helping Australian businesses stay ahead of cyber security threats, we know that it is one of those things that needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

The reason is, Cythera helps Australian businesses defend against cyber-attacks.

Co-Founders Craig Joyce and Euan Prentice are two of the minds behind the highly successful O2 Networks. They are the go-to experts for Australia’s leading IT businesses and have made a career out of doing what they enjoy.

When they set to work developing their next project to protect Australian businesses, they wanted to work with the best.

In steps Cythera Services Manager Ben Cuthbert.

Ben is that approachable guy who just gets it. In phone or in person, you know straightaway your business is in good hands.

When you’re starting a cyber security business from the ground up, getting him set the tone on how it needs to come together with his experience in security is the right move.

Watch as Cythera Services Manager Ben Cuthbert shares some of the common cyber threats facing Australian businesses.

“Before coming to Cythera to kick off the business, I have been working for Silicon Valley based companies for the last 14 years,” said Ben. “F5 Networks, BlueCat Networks and my last stint was with Palo Alto Networks, helping customers at the larger end of town such as banks and government agencies deploy complex security architectures. To be able to take it to Australian businesses has been really exciting.”

Ben is responsible for building the security capabilities that Cythera delivers as well as running the security operations team.

“This is our people watching our customers environment, responding to alerts, responding to incidents and helping to roll technology out.”

“Part of our role is about educating customers and helping them on their journey to reduce their risk and protect their business.”

When to report a cyber incident.

“Everything from traditional viruses, malware and ransomware has become really prolific. We see a lot of people who come into the office on a Monday and someone has downloaded something and suddenly no one can log into computers within the network.”

“You can imagine if you are a small or a medium business with 100 employees and no one can log into their machines and can’t service their clients or can’t take payments. You can imagine how quickly that would shatter your business.”

“We see a lot of phishing attacks where someone gets sent an email asking them to log into something like Office 365 or Dropbox. They get their credentials stolen,” said Ben.

“We’ve seen a lot of incidents lately where attackers have got access to invoices and they have edited the invoice and resent them to clients with different BSB and Account numbers. If you are a small or medium business that can really effect your bottom line.”

Ben is head of security ops and services at Cythera, with a leadership team comprised of industry veterans with backgrounds as highly successful entrepreneurs, Tier 1 telco or IT vendor providers.

Ben and the Cythera team are passionate advocates with a belief in the criticality of effective cyber security solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Read more in some of Ben’s recent blogs

Cythera Co-Founder and Director Craig Joyce shares why he stands for Cyber Security in Australia.

Craig Joyce has a strong reputation for his work in providing senior leaders in Australia with counsel on all matters relating to IT.

Craig has helped countless businesses thrive under varying conditions and across manufacturing, retail and technology sectors, also lending his focus to new businesses that need the right IT tools and advice to grow.

As one of the minds behind the highly regarded O2 Networks, Craig has spent his career taking on challenges in the IT industry and shedding light on the complex cyber security issues that businesses face every day in Australia and around the globe.

“The important thing with starting any business is understanding what it is you are setting out to achieve,” said Craig.

“We stand for cyber security and we are out there to protect our customers. That whole approach of thinking closely around what you would need to protect your own business and what type of services you would want to consume is a really good launching position into figuring out what you think you would need to appeal inside the market.”

Find out more on the Cythera Protection Platform

“We have spent a lot of time looking at the technologies and the cyber security landscape and the threats that are out there and we’ve tailored our solution set to meet those requirements. Also, at the same time we’ve really focused very much on ignoring what’s come before and thinking where things are going in the future so that we know our platform will stand the test of time.”

Two biggest threats to businesses in Australia

“The two biggest threats to your business are going to be attacks that are aimed towards your people and attacks that are aimed at the end point. It is important to have both of those at the forefront of your mind,” said Craig.

“How do you educate your users? How to you make sure their devices are secure? They are the most common forms of attack.”

“Last year, 75% of all attacks were aimed at individual users and behaviours of those users to launch those attacks.”

“Our whole business is based around being your eyes, so we will look at your security infrastructure, we will look at your business and we will identify threats and we will help you remediate any that may occur within your environment.”

“We are the one stop shop.”

Watch as Co-Founder Craig Joyce shares why he stands for Cyber Security in Australia.

Craig Joyce is Co-Founder and Director of Cythera, with a leadership team comprised of industry veterans with backgrounds as highly successful entrepreneurs, Tier 1 telco or IT vendor providers.

Craig and the Cythera team are passionate advocates with a belief in the criticality of effective cyber security solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Cythera understands the challenges local businesses face protecting their business from cyber threats and has built Cythera from the ground up to support businesses to meet these demands.

More on the Cythera leadership team.

How secure is your business from cyber-attack?

There are two common answers to this question; 1) I don’t know. 2) I think we’re secure.

Either answer is unlikely to tell you much about your business cyber readiness, but to be fair it’s not an easy question to answer. There is a lot to know about cyber-security and the threats you will face before you can effectively start to defend your business.

Many businesses have a high-level awareness of cyber-security but unless you’re an expert – it’s nearly impossible to know your current security posture and what extra things you should do to stay protected. What your business spent money on in the past may not be enough to keep it protected today – especially with the emerging threats that are aimed at your users.

Cyber crime is a big problem across Australia. There has been a 712%* increase in reported data breaches over the last 12 months and 60%* of these breaches were caused by malicious or criminal attack.

Compounding the problem is many small to medium businesses don’t think they’re a target.  They think hackers are only chasing the big fish. Unfortunately, they’re very wrong. 83%* of reported data breaches affect companies with less than 1000 people. Hackers continually target smaller businesses because most lack the effective IT security systems and process controls, they need.

We constantly hear horror stories from small business owners that thought they were protected until a hacker gained access to one of their user’s email accounts, found an invoice and changed the payment details. Not only does this have a financial impact, it can carry a reputational impact, be it between your business and business partners, or between your business and your customers.

What can you do to protect your business from cyber-attack?

A good first step is to take Cythera’s FREE Cyber Health Check.  The Cythera Cyber Health Check accurately analyses your security posture and provides you comprehensive risk profile spanning 14 separate cyber security categories. The health check also includes a functional risk dashboard which displays your risk profile in comparison with the Australian Signals Directorate – Essential 8 and National Institute of Standards and Technology security frameworks; The global and local best practice cyber security frameworks.

Don’t guess, know the maturity level of your business to respond to cyber attacks and start planning to put in place the defences you will need to prepare for the cyber threat landscape of the future.

*https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/notifiable-data-breaches/notifiable-data-breaches-statistics/notifiable-data-breaches-scheme-12month-insights-report/

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