Five signs that your organisation is at high risk of cyberattack

Posted by Brett Lodge on 04 March 2021 13:22:53 ACDT
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A targeted cyberattack happens every 39 seconds on average. While it is easy to think it will never happen to your organisation, with around 164 cybercrime reports per day in Australia, or one every 10 minutes, it is a matter of when, not if, your organisation will become a victim.


Most attacks can be easily prevented using low-cost, or even no-cost, security approaches. Given the average cost of a cyberattack in Australia is now $2.15 million for each data breach and it takes around 296 days to discover and contain a breach, the relatively small investment in cybersecurity far outweighs the risk and cost of an attack.


There are five clear signs that your organisation is currently at high risk of cyberattack. If your business demonstrates any one of these signs, it is time to urgently review your cybersecurity.


  1. Your organisation is connected either directly or indirectly to a highly targeted industry

The Australian government recently raised concerns about the heightened risk of targeted cyberattacks on Australian public and private-sector organisations. Considering every Australian organisation is connected to highly targeted entities such as the Australian Tax Office (ATO), every Australian business is at risk of having their online security compromised. This is further compounded with other direct and indirect connections to other highly targeted industries, such as banks and insurance companies.

  1. Your organisation does not conduct, or continually fails, vulnerability assessments

Organisational vulnerability assessments are vital in the current high-risk security environment. With cyberthreats unlikely to ever abate in the new digitised world of business, organisations simply cannot afford to be complacent. As hundreds of new cyberthreats emerge daily and multiple vulnerabilities occur every time an organisation downloads a new app or software tool, vulnerability assessments must be a high priority. Even if your organisation conducts regular vulnerability assessments, if these assessments continue to fail, it is a clear sign that there are major gaps in your cybersecurity solution and your business is at risk.

  1. Your anti-virus solution and security patches are out of date

Out-of-date anti-virus solutions and security patches increase cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities for organisations. While it may not seem cost effective to use the latest software patch, consider the impact to the organisation of a successful breach that could have been prevented by that patch. Equally, organisations must not rely on patches and quick security fixes to firm up their cybersecurity posture. Too many quick security fixes can actually increase vulnerabilities by creating a mosaic cybersecurity framework, which is full of cracks that can be easily breached. Instead, a best practice approach is to have a scalable anti-virus solution that automatically tracks and updates to the latest cybersecurity software version, which ensures the organisation remains protected without the need for quick-fix security solutions.

  1. Employees do not use multi-factor authentication (MFA) and are not cybersecurity trained

It is a well-known fact that employees can be an organisation’s greatest weakness when it comes to cybersecurity. Considering remote-based employees are not protected by the corporate firewall, this essentially leaves the organisation wide open to cyberattack. Even for employees who are back at the office, phishing scams, malware and ransomware attacks are now far more sophisticated and can easily breach systems through employee email. This is why multi-factor authentication and ongoing employee cyber awareness training are crucial components of cybersecurity, especially in a remote work environment.

  1. Your organisation does not monitor cybersecurity 24/7

Even if your organisation does not do business with overseas entities, the reality is that cybercriminals do not sleep, with many attacks occurring outside of normal business hours. If your cybersecurity solution does not continually monitor and respond to cyberthreats, your organisation is at high risk for every second that the system is not monitored.

No organisation can financially or reputationally afford a successful cyberattack. Learn seven cost effective ways to reduce your current cybersecurity risk. For more advice about the right security approach for your organisation, contact the Subnet team today.

Topics: Security, Cybersecurity