Local business owners are being encouraged to attend a free briefing in Penrith on protecting their business from ransomware cyber attacks.
The briefing will be held by the Penrith Small Business Owners Network in conjunction with Local Area Marketing on Tuesday 17 October 2017.
Co-ordinator of the Penrith Small Business Owners Network, Brendan Harrison, said ransomware had become the biggest threat to small and new business owners in an increasingly aggressive cyber security environment.
“Small business owners generally don’t have proactive access to IT support or know about the seriousness of these threats,” he said.
“Having a cyber security expert explain how they works and how to deal with them will ensure that our local small business owners are well prepared to be able to run their enterprises with confidence as the regularity of these attacks increase.
Cybersecurity expert Burt Mascareigne will explain how ransomware works, the risk to small business, identifying an attack and what to do; educating employees (and family) on computer health practices, not paying ransoms and why existing anti-virus programs can’t help you.
Mr Mascareigne is Director and Chief Security Officer of DropInSecurity, a specialist cyber security company behind an awareness program run in conjunction with Local Area Marketing.
“Unlike virus threats, computer hacking and similar criminal activities targeting business, ransomware attacks are totally malicious, destroying everything in their path,” he said.
“Small business, indeed larger business and government have never been exposed to such widespread, aggressive and brutal attacks on computer networks.
“While government and corporations rush to upgrade their IT infrastructure as the frequency of attacks increase, it’s the small business owners, the backbone of the economy, who are at greatest risk.
“Our Ransomware awareness session aims to educate new business owners and SMEs to give their business data the same critical priority afforded to health and safety issues.”
Mr Mascareigne said a failure to prioritise cyber security, including the education of staff, could be fatal to the health of any business since the attacks are triggered by the actions of people. Opening an innocent looking email attachment bugged with ransomware is the most common activation.
He said that his company dealt with victim companies every day.
“You only hear about the high-profile ones like Cadbury in Hobart, TNT and others, but you never hear about the many smaller ones too embarrassed to report, even to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).
“That’s why networks like the Penrith Small Business Owners Network are so vital in bringing owners together to be informed, spread the word to others and be able to safeguard their businesses."
Mr Harrison said the special briefing would be held in conjunction with the Network’s 17 October meeting from 10.15am at the Red Cow Inn, 9 Station Street, Penrith (adjacent to Westfield).
The free event is open to all business owners but pre-registration is necessary by joining the MeetUp RSVP here: or by texting your name and email details to 0404 767 482.