12 October 2020

How to keep your workplace safe from cyber attacks

| Neha Attre
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With 164 cybercrime reports per day, is your workplace protected against threats of cyberattack? Photo: File.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) received 164 cybercrime reports per day on an average between July 2019 and June 2020. That equates to one report every 10 minutes.

The ACSC Annual Cyber Threat report says that “while the true cost of cybercrime to the Australian economy is difficult to quantify, industry estimates have previously placed cybersecurity incidents as high as $29 billion annually”.

The cyberattack incident at the Australian National University (ANU) in 2018 is one example of a highly sophisticated attack launched by hackers at the workplace.

READ ALSO How an unopened email started a ‘sophisticated’ cyber attack on ANU

A single email was sent to a senior staff member causing a massive data breach that went undetected for weeks. The cyberattack was so sophisticated that, without anyone clicking on the link, the attackers managed to gain access to personal information.

The ACSC report highlights how critically important it is that individuals and businesses understand the cyber threat and take active steps to mitigate the risks.

BAL lawyers Riley Berry and Anna Phillips will discuss different forms of cyberattacks and more in the upcoming ‘Cybersecurity and Privacy in the Workplace’ webinar as part of October HR Breakfast Club.

Riley Berry and Anna Phillips

Riley Berry and Anna Phillips, BAL Lawyers. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

It will focus on how technology impacts our daily work and the consequences through the lens of digital and privacy law, key ethical and risk-management obligations, and what businesses and workplaces must do to ensure these obligations are met.

“In the webinar, we will talk about what to look out for in these sophisticated scams. Most of the time, a cyberattack is a result of personal actions. Somebody clicks on an email that comes through when it’s actually hackers trying to gain access to the system,” Riley said.

“We will look at how hackers get access to data, and how this affects the HR professionals given the amount of personal information they usually hold.”

BAL lawyer Anna Phillips feels that we need to increase our awareness of cyber attacks at a time when working from home has become a norm.

READ ALSO Program moves online to support workplace mental health

“It’s important to know more now especially when everyone is working from home with different VPNs, security systems, etc which is more complicated than when everyone is based in just one location,” she said.

“HR professionals also need to maintain technological competency and should be aware of changing types of hacking and phishing scams. Instead of reacting when a cyber-attack takes place, it is important to know what you can do to keep the data safe before that happens.”

Anna will talk about overcoming these challenges in the workplace and using awareness and training to mitigate risks.

Riley Berry and Anna Phillips are from Las Vegas and Boston respectively and hold Juris Doctor degrees from the ANU. They work in commercial and business law, where they advise clients on corporate governance, business acquisitions and disposals, contractual drafting and disputes, intellectual property, and privacy law.

The free webinar will be held on Friday, 16 October at 8:00 am via Zoom. You can register for the webinar here.

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