Get Real About Cyber Security



How much do you know about the security of your business website and IT systems? My own business experiences around 100 attempts per day to locate our login page or find vulnerabilities. If I wasn’t so involved with the backend of our website, I may not be aware of those attempts at all.

This week, in light of the recent cyber security issues, I asked the Chamber’s IT partner, Cristian from Preterion Pty Ltd, to point out common vulnerabilities. Preterion regularly conduct IT security assessments, and Cristian says the biggest problem can be our limited perception of IT security.

“Security is not a matter of using systems to keep your data protected. It’s about how things are put in place and used.” He says we must take a broader view, and pay attention to these aspects:

  • People: system users are the weakest link. Employees or contractors who are untrained or disregard secure practices are the biggest threat of all.
  • Policies, procedures and protocols: a business must have suitable policies for systems and any imaginable situation, so people know what they can and can’t do, and how things must be done.
  • Protection: firewalls, antivirus and spam filtering systems aren’t the complete answer, but they are useful. They can protect networks and computers from well-known threats.
  • Prevention: the hardest of all, Cristian says, because it calls on us to be continually pro-active in understanding the threats, and learning new ways to counteract malicious and irresponsible behaviour from users and external entities.

Simple everyday actions can pose a risk, from clicking a bad email link to connecting an unchecked personal device to the company WiFi, and yet it’s not that simple at all because the threats change and evolve.

“Systems security isn’t something you can approach with a few tips like ‘don’t click links in emails you didn’t expect’ because the whole picture is much more complicated” Cristian says. “Ultimately, security is only part of a common-sense approach in how technology is used in business.”

It was handy to be able to call on Cristian for his thoughts this week. One of the great advantages of Chamber membership is that you meet all sorts of experts! If you’re not a member and would like to know more about joining, visit the Chamber website.

First published in the Hills Shire Times, 4 July 2017 (unedited version published above).

Author: Leonie is director of content agency Article Writers Australia, Chamber content partner, and a Sydney Hills & Hawkesbury Living magazine columnist. 


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