It was recently announced in the media that Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has a grim prediction regarding the potential effects of cyber-attacks on Australia: That our IT infrastructure, including the grids that power essential services such as supermarkets, banks, and even hospitals, could be headed down the path of a “widespread failure”, due to a rising number of disastrous cyber-threats. Dutton warned that the past two years has seen an enormous influx of malicious cyber-attacks on Australian business’, from both the public and private sector, and that “the potential consequences of a successful attack could be catastrophic. A prolonged and widespread failure in the energy sector, for example, could cause knock-on disruptions to other essential systems…” It is clear the structured cyber-attacks are something that all Australian business’ should be knowledgeable about, as this allows them to take protective measures to safeguard their organisation.
This kind of grim forecast can seem scary to business’ who rely on structured computer management systems to carry out their work tasks, keep their confidential data secure, and conduct dealings with the public, and the fact is, there is both good and bad news for organisations looking to secure their information systems. The bad news is that there is no ‘magic bullet’ cure to this issue that can make the threat instantly disappear for organisations. However, the good news is that through preparation, time, and effort, business’ will be able to significantly minimise the odds of their organisation becoming a potential target, through the strengthening of their information security systems to ensure they comply with current industry cyber security standards.
Safe, structured systems are your best bet against cyber-threats
Business’ may be understandably concerned about the risk of a cyber-attack significantly disrupting their operations, as a successful attack could impact the organisation in so many ways. Optimistically, a cyber-attack might be immediately detected and dealt with, causing no significant downtime to operations. But it could also go the other way, and result in the organisation essentially being ‘off-line’ from anywhere to a few minutes to up to weeks. This could lead to huge amounts of time and effort needing to be spent ascertaining the extent of the attack, what data was breached, how to go about safeguarding breached data while also securing thus far protected information, and so on. Safeguarding against potential cyber-attacks can seem like a challenging task, as you are not even entirely sure what you are up against.
A business’ best chance of ensuring their information systems stay protected from potential cyber-threats is by taking initial preventative measures to significantly minimise the odds of a successful cyber-attack in the first place. Further, the development of preventative measures, that outline a clear, structured checklist approach of what to do in the event of a breach, mean that even in event of an incident impacting operations, the business will have a systematic, methodical approach in place for dealing with it, working towards minimising its impact on the organisation, and keeping operations running safely and smoothly.
The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001 Information Security Management standards provide business’ with a structured, proven successful, approach for how to go about protecting operations against a potential cyber-attack, through the implementation of a strong Information Security Management System. It outlines what kinds of strategies and procedures they could implement to mitigate the effects of an attack, and in general, provides clear, systematic guidance on how to effectively protect the entire operations from cyber-threats. It is an internationally certified standard, which means that the information security guidelines it provides are recognised around the world as being successful, practical, and safe. This means that business’ who utilise these standards are working with the first port of call when it comes to effective cyber security.
Systematic structure works at curbing cyber threats
The ISO 27001 standards work at establishing, implementing, and reviewing a business’ information security practices, and provides a degree of cohesion and structure to them. This is achieved by initially analysing the business’ existing information security practices, and establishing what is working effectively, and what practices could be strengthened and fine-tuned to better uphold the information security requirements of the organisation. The implementation of a structured ISMS will bring many benefits to business’, including:
- A much stronger, more secure, business computer information management system. Hackers work at exploiting weak points in information security systems, and then infiltrating them. Most hackers won’t have the time or patience to spend hours attempting to infiltrate a strong, secure, information system, and will instead just direct their attention towards a different, weaker, one that they can target. By ensuring that your business’ information systems are as formidable as possible, you are making hackers lose interest in your systems.
- A significant rise in staff, client, and customer satisfaction. Business’ that work with confidential data have to take steps to ensure it is safe and secure, and that it will not fall into the wrong hands. The implementation of an ISMS demonstrates to the public that your organisation recognises that there is a range of potential cyber threats out there, and that it is taking active steps to ensure that no one can gain unauthorised access to your business’ data. This upholds the reputation of the organisation, and demonstrates it is a reputable company to deal with.
- A streamlining of information systems and procedures, that are designed to be accessible and user-friendly. An effective ISMS brings a degree of cohesion to a business’ cyber security, as all the information security systems are designed and conducted in the same methodical manner. This means that the system will be simple for authorised personnel to use, and this could reduce downtime, which resulted from convoluted processes and incompatible information security systems working alongside one another.
Although Dutton’s prediction about the consequences of cyber-attacks on business’ was grim, companies can see it as a catalyst for change: by recognising that there are a range of potential cyber threats to your business, and that your organisation needs to strengthen its information security systems to protect itself from them, your organisation stands the best chance of staying safe and secure in a difficult marketplace.
If you want to know the ways in which an ISMS could be tailored to your business to strengthen its information security systems, then please give Anitech’s safety consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By giving them an overview of your company, and its existing information security systems, they will be able to explain how an ISMS could be tailored to it, in order to strengthen its information security, and protect the operations from a range of cyber threats. Wouldn’t you agree that taking action today is an effective method at countering Dutton’s ominous prediction?
Please click here to learn about how the implementation of an effective ISMS promotes good cyber hygiene, keeping your business’ information security systems spotless.