Ransomware attacks increasing in Australia.

A cybercrime is now reported every eight minutes in Australia with criminals and spies taking advantage of large numbers of people working from home and actively targeting vulnerable Australians.

In its second annual threat report, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has revealed over 67,500 cybercrime reports were made in the last financial year, a jump of 13 per cent on the previous 12 months.

The ACSC estimates cybercrime has cost Australian businesses and individuals $33 billion over the past year.

The centre said ransomware remained one of the most serious types of cyber threat, which increased by almost 15 per cent in the past financial year.

“No sector of the Australian economy was immune from the impacts of cybercrime and other malicious activity,” the report said.

“Government agencies at all levels, large organisations, critical infrastructure providers, small to medium enterprises, families and individuals were all targeted over the reporting period.”

The compromising of business emails resulted in the average loss of more than $50,600 per business, more than one-and-a-half times higher than the previous financial year.

In fact, the ransomware business model has become so sophisticated that some hacking groups are specialising in developing and selling the technology that other groups use to mount attacks. In other words, hacking groups have their own IT services industry.

Rachael Falk from the Cyber Security CRC (CSCRC) agreed, saying many Australian businesses are still “woefully under prepared”.

Cyber-attacks and Clubs/Pubs/Casinos

 The main motivation for cyber-attacks remains money.

On this score, many clubs believe they are not a high potential target, but activism and identity theft also rank as motivation for cyber-criminal groups. Due to frequent misreporting in the Australian media of gaming turnover data as profit, the public perception of casinos, clubs and hotels is that the businesses earn vast sums of money from gambling activity, they have good customer membership databases, and a negative perception of gambling may justify business disruptions. While the reality for most clubs is vastly different from the overall nationwide perception, these three motivations put clubs and casinos at significant risk from cybercriminals, with Bitcoin making ransom demands and money trails easier, and almost untraceable.

Safeguarding your business

In Australia, Secom Technology is a specialist IT company, focusing on hospitality industry IT security needs utilising the Untangle NG Firewall solution. This is a sophisticated and flexible app-based firewall solution that protects customer data in POS and gaming systems, includes intrusion protection that blocks hacking events such as ransomware and phishing attacks, allows for network wide usage policies even when staff and customers access the internet through your business Wi-Fi from their own devices, and is flexible enough to grow along with your hospitality business needs.

About the Untangle NG Firewall solution

Managing your network and ensuring every device is adequately protected can be a complex and costly task. Untangle’s NG Firewall simplifies network security with a single, modular, software platform designed specifically for businesses such as pubs and clubs with limited IT resources and budgets.

Untangle NG Firewall provides a browser-based, responsive and intuitive interface enabling you to quickly gain visibility into the traffic on your network. This includes a dashboard that attaches the reports your business requires as widgets for fast visibility.  From content filtering to advanced threat protection, VPN connectivity to application-based shaping for bandwidth optimization, the Untangle NG Firewall delivers a comprehensive, enterprise-grade network security platform.

Some of Untangle’s NG Firewall features include:

Safe and secure Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is now the top amenity customers want. With Untangle, customers will have the convenience to safely go online wherever they are located in your venue. Basic Internet access can be provided for free, and if higher bandwidth is needed, tiered service offerings can be made available. For back-office operations, the system can prioritise Internet traffic for administration tools, point-of-sale and more.

Protecting purchases and customer information

Mobile payments, such as Apple Pay have become increasingly popular but as a small/medium business, network security is crucial. Untangle’s security solution ensures that businesses can provide customers with streamlined and protected purchases both online and in person.

Ransomware and virus prevention

Intrusion prevention blocks hacking attempts before they reach internal servers and desktops. Untangle’s pre-configured signature-based IPS makes it easier for administrators to provide 24/7 network protection from hackers. Modern malware threats target servers, laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. While it is important that all of these devices have end-point protection—with the latest versions of software and virus signatures—you may struggle with control over these devices as they connect offsite to unsecured networks, then return to your network with malware on board. You need a first line of defence.

Firewall

Drawing the line that separates internal and external networks, Firewall filters traffic based on IP address, protocol, and port, which enables administrators to designate which systems and services (HTTP, FTP, etc.) are publicly available. Firewall can be run as a transparent bridge to complement a pre-existing firewall and allows you to control inbound and/or outbound access to specific IPs and ports.

Phish blocker

Identity thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated with email and website spoofs that are nearly impossible to discern from the real thing. Phish Blocker protects users from email phishing attacks and fraudulent pharming websites.

Mobile policy enforcement

Mobile devices are inherently promiscuous, connecting via cellular and Wi-Fi networks that may or may not have sufficient security protocols in place. You work hard to keep threats off devices connected to your local network; be sure those same devices aren’t left exposed when they’re in the wild.

It can happen to any hospitality business that is not properly protected.

Ransomware is quickly becoming the biggest threat for small and medium business with Australia seen as an increasingly wealthy and stable country in a post-pandemic world. The need to ramp up security is heightening as both local and international criminals use more sophisticated methods to gain money and data.

 

To investigate how Untangle NG Firewall can prevent these issues in your business contact:

Jason Drew

Secom/Sint – Phone:  1300 781 224

Cyber Crime information source: www.sbs.com.au/news/a-cyber-security-threat-is-now-reported-in-australia-every-eight-minutes/83ab5c5d-499b-40d6-a41e-dc706f69ba6e