Small business cyber-attacks on the rise

Global and Australian businesses have been under cyber-attack in recent years, including the recent breach of a billion Yahoo accounts. Locally we have seen Aussie Farmers Direct and K-mart under attack, and who could forget the 2016 census debacle?

The Australian Government estimates the impact of ransomware on the Australian economy is around two billion dollars every year, and growing.

But what many of us don’t realise is the number of small and medium-sized businesses caught-up in this underhanded trend.

Any organisation, big or small, can be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, with the most common known as ‘phishing.’ This involves cyber criminals pretending to be a colleague or management and emailing staff, from what appears to be a company email address, with a request to send top secret company information.

The email can contain instructions that the worker may believe are legitimate, such as clicking a link that installs malware or captures login information. Some cyber criminals even go as far as requesting a money transfer to another businesses bank account.

Because email is the most common form of communication in business, attackers will continue to find new ways to trick even the most diligent staff.

According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2016, Australia had the largest number of cyber security attacks world-wide, almost 9,500 between 2014-15. This was an increase of 109 per cent, compared to a 38.5 per cent increase globally.

So, what's 3 tips to protect your business from a cyber-attack?

  1. Educate your workers so they know what to look for and be suspicious of. Create a process they can follow if they suspect a dodgy email.
  2. Invest in technology that can detect fake emails by automatically examining the reputation of the sender.
  3. Prioritise cyber security – instead of just being reactive, plan ahead by identifying vulnerabilities and have systems, technology and processes in place to protect against attacks.

If you need any assistance with your cyber security or you don't know where to start please call us on  1300 478 738 or email us at

About the Author

Geoff Stewart is a highly experienced and skilled Technology Director at Surety IT. His knowledge is based on years of industry experience having created customised, stable, well performing systems both for multi-national companies in the UK and Australia and Surety IT customers.

Surety IT can help you create the right system to enhance your business, ensuring you know how it is right for you and how to use it. We will tailor a solution to suit your needs with leading systems, local support and more, building your vision for a more flexible and capable business.

Call us today on 1300 478 738 or email to discuss your requirements.