Cyber Security Month: Don’t Sleep on These Three Rampant Threats

In 2019, cyber-attacks are increasingly sophisticated, and much more organised than the proverbial teenager sitting in a dimly lit room seeking notoriety. As we transition from 2019 to 2020, more devices will enter the workforce, bringing with them more connectivity demands alongside more mission-critical applications and data. What does this exponential growth create?

Among other things, it creates more opportunity and potential entry points for cyber-crime.

One of the greatest challenges to protecting an organisation in the digital era is the ‘shape-shifting’ nature of security threats.1 New and unknown possibilities enter the threat landscape on a daily basis, highlighting why security is such a prevalent area of focus for organisations.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner recently released the Notifiable Data Breach Statistics Report for the period 1 April to 30 June 2019, and the findings highlight one thing; the large majority of data breaches occur at the hands of malicious or criminal attacks.

So, in the spirit of Cyber Security Month, we thought it pertinent to highlight three rampant threats that are contributing significantly to these numbers.

1. Phishing

Phishing is the digital form of social engineering. In a phishing attack, the attacker or entity seeking to obtain sensitive information poses as a seemingly trustworthy source or organisation, and leverages email and malicious websites.2

For example, a staff member receives an email from their bank, or perceivably from their bank. The email prompts the staff member to follow a link before entering their personal banking details owing to a ‘technical error that wiped customer data’ or something of that ilk. Once entered, those details are compromised and can be used for fraudulent activities, or your data/computer may become corrupted with ransomware or some other form of malware. If a compromised password is a common one that the staff member uses across multiple accounts, then the potential damage is even greater.

The key component to a phishing scam is the aesthetics, they’re designed to appear as legitimate pieces of communication from the sender, including branding and logo. They also send you to a seemingly legitimate website, but it’s actually slightly different. For example, the real web address might be ‘www.nab.com.au’, the phishing site might use an address like ‘www.nabb.com’.3

2. Ransomware

As mentioned above, ransomware can appear through a phishing scam, but can also weave its magic through illegitimate websites and web-attacks. Ransomware is a form of malware that prevents users from accessing their system or personal data and holds it hostage until a ransom payment is made via credit card or virtual currency. Once payment has been made the user is once again granted access.4

3. Malware

Malware, as you might expect, is short for malicious software. We touched on one form of malware just before in ransomware, but there are many other forms as well, including viruses, trojans, spyware and essentially any other toxic piece of software with ‘ware’ at the end.5

All forms of malware are intentionally designed to cause damage to a device or network.6 They traditionally infect through web-based attacks but aren’t immune to doing so through USB drives or a compromised network connection – typically a public and freely accessible one.

So, what can I do to protect my business you ask?

MicrotechDPS recommends every organisation puts these safety measures in place to best mitigate against the above threats:

  • Up to date endpoint devices. Leverage built in security tools that help proactively protect against cyber threats. We partner with HP and Intel® who house the world’s most secure portfolio of PCs courtesy of the Sure Suite of embedded technology.
  • Employ strong password protection strategies. If you use the same password for more than one account, you are putting your data at risk.
  • Improve staff awareness of the threat landscape. Educate them on how to properly detect a phishing scam, as well as illegitimate websites and potentially malicious download files.
  • Employ a wider reaching security strategy. No one aspect of cyber security is more important than the other. With new threats emerging daily, your security strategy must be a holistic one.

If you would like to discuss your organisation’s security strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call. 


1 Cyber-Security Special Edition, HP Innovation Journal, Copyright © 2018 HP Development Company, L.P.
2 https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/attempts-to-gain-your-personal-information/phishing
3 https://www.malwarebytes.com/ransomware/
4 The Cyber-Security Field Manual: Ten steps every business should take to protect against cyberattacks, Copyright © 2018, HP Development Company, L.P.
5 https://www.avg.com/en/signal/what-is-malware


Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Scanning & Imaging Services

Microtechdps have the experience and capacity to now offer one of the most complete scanning portfolios in the country. There are many types of scanning solutions needed throughout different industries and Business sectors including:

  • Small to medium business document scanning
  • Large Government & Corporate Document scanning
  • Archival scanning
  • Bureau Scanning services

 

For small to medium Business environments, scanning is becoming an essential part of the workplace and its processes. No longer is scanning seen as a task performed when the time permits, it is the “onramp” to the digital environment and in many cases the start of critical business workflows. MicrotechDPS work heavily in this space to provide the most up to date technology, saving time, reducing risk and integrating into business systems and processes.

MicrotechDPS have experienced professionals who have implemented some of the Largest Government and Corporate institution scanning projects in Australia for more than 10 years. We have the capacity to sell and service High speed production scanning and software products for the most demanding and time critical environments.

Microtechdps are the experts in Regional Australia for all types of Archival scanning. Microfilm, Microfiche, Large format, Rare, Fragile and oversized books. MicrotechDPS sell the most comprehensive range of archival equipment in country Australia. Free consultation is available with our scanning experts for any scanning project that you may be considering undertaking

 

Data and the Cloud

With the ever increasing reliance on the digital economy to get things done, our data footprint is growing exponentially. We depend daily on our access to information, and the types of data being created, consumed and transmitted is changing. Now we are generating data not just by typing into our word processors or filling in paper forms.

We are creating it with our phones and our GPS devices, with our routine technology use, and with the daily interactions of workers with corporate systems. Enabling real time monitoring of productivity and the streamlining of bureaucratic processes is creating a world of data like none before.

While data is an intangible thing, the servers on which it is stored are very real and over time can come to occupy space not just in the office, but in the balance sheet as well. Whether it is a partial migration to facilitate data sharing and collaboration, or a complete shift of technology to remove the need for heavy file storage on site, cloud services are here to provide the flexibility and scalability this booming data resource requires.

So what are the advantages over the old world of paper? Two big ones are physical space and scalability.

“Cloud storage has infinite possibilities and unlimited storage potential. An organisation can keep adding layers without limit to acquire as much or as little storage as they need, without having to factor in physical capacity requirements.”

– techworld.com.au

Efficiencies are beginning to appear where we had not even sought them in past decades, with the data generated by our phones and wearable technology becoming useful for things as simple as ordering our morning coffee, to monitoring our health and wellbeing, to tracking our productivity in real time. All that data needs to be stored somewhere for it to remain useful. As long as it remains secure and in context, the benefits are enormous, and secure cloud services strive to achieve just that.

The challenge is to shift our understanding in business from seeing the cloud as just a giant bucket we throw our data in. Instead, we must see it as a tool of varied and complex ability. Something which can be harnessed to drive collaboration, productivity, and growth, through the use of cloud based software solutions to manage, create and utilise our data across wide ranging facets of our businesses. We can streamline processes which rely on that data, while ensuring our activities remain correct and appropriate to the evolving business environment.

Stepping into the world of digital transformation can seem intimidating, but the benefits are incredible. And it is only going to get better. Read though our case studies to see some examples of digital transformation in action, and if you have any questions about how you can use the cloud for the benefit of your business, give MicrotechDPS a call.

CES 2019

With everything from vinyl LP record players to virtual reality kits and all the amazing things in between, the CES, or Consumer Electronics Show, has just wrapped up in the United States.

This means brands from all over the world have been showing off the new tech they have in store for us in 2019 and what a great way to start.

Among the gadgets and funky toys on display, there are usually a handful of things which can really look exciting for those of us in the managed IT and related service sectors.

Labelled one of the hottest products at CES by TechRadar, is the Royole FlexPai, a phone and tablet in one, which opens to be a 7.8 inch tablet, or, thanks to its flexible LED screen, folds in half to be a reasonable size smart phone. Flexible screens have been coming for a while, but to see one implemented into a real product is exciting. It opens the way for designers to start creating some exciting new tools for the personal and business markets.

Imagine being able to roll your laptop up and stuff it in a corner of your tool bag? Could mobile computing become the new “soft furnishings” of IT? This kind of next level portability will no doubt highlight the need for IT departments to be on top of their mobile security more than ever. Just as the shift from chunky tools to personal statements and fashion accessories changed the way we looked at our phones, flexible screens could create just as big a shift in how we use and think about mobile devices.

Related to this, wearable technology had a strong presence, with 2019 promising growth in this field. Wearable tech is dominated by watch style devices, but that is not the entire field, and smaller rings were on display, such as the Sphero Specdrums, rings which allow you to play drums by tapping your fingers. Also, Virtual Reality shoes (yes, shoes) have demonstrated potential to step VR and AR up a notch, bringing limb monitoring technology to gaming and potentially physiotherapy applications. The inclusion of ECG technology into the watches, and potentially rings, could have enormous health industry ramifications down the track.

All these new mobile technologies are entering the market at a time when security in business is more critical than ever and will be watched closely by managed service providers the world over. What is convenient for the user, is convenient for others after all.

Robots were another prominent feature, demonstrated as assistants for a wide range of day to day activities, both in the home and in business, and given such devices could become interactive with clients or other outsiders to a business, this once again, opens a new world of possibilities and risks for IT experts.

Naturally the computing power on display with new products and greater performance across hundreds of new laptop and desktop devices was as always a staple, but the innovation on display has blossomed far beyond the humble PC. Stay with us in 2019, as the technology takes us to new ideas as well as new places, and who knows what will be here by 2020.

 

Griffith Relocation

We are pleased to announce that in September, our Griffith office has relocated to a new office space a short distance from our previous location.

ReceptionAt MicrotechDPS we are always interested in providing the best possible service to our clients, and that includes improving our office experience to enable better service. With the convenience of the new location, and the greater visibility it affords us, this relocation will enable us to serve your needs even better.

The new location is near the Ulong St roundabout at 139 Yambil St.

We look forward to seeing you there. Please be aware of the new location should you intend to visit our Griffith offices.

New office exterior

 


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