Every week, we see another media story about a cyberattack, where unknown computer hackers have broken into the network of a company and corrupted, deleted or stolen computer files. Being hacked is a terrifying thought. Hundreds of thousands of business owners have literally lost their company completely as a result, writes Bronwyn Reid.
But it’s time to change our thinking. Instead of treating cybersecurity as an unwanted, but necessary cost, why don’t we look at computer safety as a potential competitive advantage?
An incentive to be secure
A hacking event can destroy a company in a matter of hours, and small businesses are certainly not exempt. In fact, research by Verizon showed that more than 4 in 10 attacks in 2020 were on small businesses. Small businesses are considered to be a “soft target” by hackers, as many don’t have sufficient security in place. The 10 year-old trainee hackers are getting their experience and honing their skills on small business systems!
And yet, six in ten businesses do not have a cybersecurity plan in place.
In 2021 though, we now have even more incentive to be cyber-secure, if you needed any more motivation than the possibility of losing your entire business.
The Federal Government has introduced legislation that will require any business in a government supply chain – that’s local, state or federal, to be cyber-secure. Any supplier will have to demonstrate that their computer networks have a high level of security, and that the company has a robust plan in place to keep it that way.
Critical infrastructure must be protected
It is indisputable that cyber-crime has become one of the biggest threats to Australian companies, and therefore, the Australian economy. The Federal Government views cybersecurity as critical to our future wellbeing and has identified critical infrastructure that must be protected. New legislation will include more industries. There will be financial and criminal penalties for those who do not comply.
Make your cyber security a competitive advantage
With this legislation looming, you could turn your cybersecurity into a competitive advantage. Your competitors, who are not as well informed, and are not prepared as well as you, will not be able to win contracts. Not just with government, but with any potential customer that sits within a government supply chain. Remember, it’s not just companies that supply directly to government that will be affected.
Cybersecurity is now a valuable business asset.
So how should you start your preparation? Step one is to organise a cybersecurity audit. If you have not had one done, I recommend that you organise one promptly as part of your business resilience planning.
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