Is your village information safe?

Last month when I was in New Zealand, the news of the day was how three public hospitals had their digital systems and patient information hacked, staff were effectively locked out of their digital systems and the Government were potentially being held to ransom.

This got me to thinking about the various digital solutions I have seen around the country in villages and what would the impact be to a village if suddenly their digital system was hacked, they were locked out, the resident information shared publicly or even worse held to ransom.

Only two laptops safe

It also reminded me of an experience I had at the LEADERS SUMMIT in Adelaide in March where the ComwireIT General Manager, Nathan showed us on his laptop that there were about 140 devices in the conference room but only TWO of them were secure, the rest leaving themselves open to a potential cyber threat.  

Cyber attacks can:

  • Cause significant downtime for your business
  • Expose your intellectual property to the public or your competitors
  • Expose your client’s private information to the public
  • Require submission of a Notifiable Data Breach to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

All these things can have a dramatic impact on your day-to-day operations, your brand and depending upon your internal support systems can cost serious money to rectify.

Simple questions

Nathan also asked us a few questions:

  • Where is your data stored? If on a local server, do you complete regular backups?
  • Do you have a Disaster Recovery plan?
  • If it’s stored in the cloud, is it based in Australia or offshore?
  • Who has access to your data?
  • What type of authentication do you have to access your systems?
  • Does your IT roadmap address all these variables?

Nathan clearly saw the shock on our faces and shared with me a few weeks later the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Essential Eight mitigation strategies to reduce exposure to a cyber-attack:

  • 3rd Party Application Patches need to be managed to reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities
  • Operating System Patches need to be managed
  • Daily backups are a must
  • Application Whitelisting/Anti-Virus management
  • Configuration of Microsoft Office macro settings
  • Review user application hardening
  • Restriction of administrative privileges
  • Implementation of Multi-factor authentication (MFA)

Now if you are like me and would like to know some simple solutions for your workplace, click here to download ComwireIT Cyber Security ‘Keep your workplace safe’ checklist

Alternatively, if you would like to take it a step further to obtain an audit of your digital environment or add to your IT Roadmap, contact ComwireIT.

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