Greater Western Sydney small business owners are being urged to attend a free cyber security briefing on Thursday morning in expectation of a surge in cybercrime over the Christmas – New Year trading period, potentially disrupting commercial and administrative data transactions.
The briefing, at Norwest Business Park, will explain why the cyber security industry is forecasting a cybercrime surge and outline implications for businesses of the Federal Government’s new mandatory data breach reporting laws that come into force from February 2018.
It will outline the reasons small businesses are at the greatest risk of being compromised; how ransomware attacks work; recognising and avoiding them; educating employees (computer health practices); the importance of offline back-up; why you should not pay ransoms and why existing anti-virus programs won’t help you.
Guest speaker, Burt Mascareigne, a cyber security professional of more than 14 years, is Director of DropInSecurity, consultant to several IT companies and Chief Security Officer with Local Area Marketing, sponsor of the event.
He said cyber criminals know small businesses often don’t have good IT resources and are likely to pay a ransom, usually between $400 - $700, on the promise of a decryption key when business computer data is locked.
“With ransomware quickly becoming the cyber criminals preferred new weapon, small businesses are easy pickings. In most cases, they don’t even report attacks to authorities, something which the Federal Government hopes to change from February next year,” Mr Mascareigne said.
“Ransomware is the most aggressive kind of cybercrime to date because it encrypts all your computer data, including programs and is easily triggered by either visiting an infected website or opening an innocent looking email attachment.
“Businesses face economic disruption or ruin when their data is compromised along with client records, accounts, marketing collateral and software. The subsequent inconvenience and embarrassment to clients is huge. In some cases, smaller companies with few resources may not be able to recover.”
The two-hour event, in the Blue Room at Norwest Business Park’s Nexus Café, Bella Vista, begins at 9.45am. It will also feature with a networking opportunity with all attendees able to introduce and briefly describe their business.