A major new study commissioned by Microsoft has revealed businesses are well positioned to secure themselves from an overwhelming majority of cyber security threats. However, many have yet to take preventative action.
The Frost & Sullivan conducted survey also detailed eye-opening statistics on the number of businesses compromised by cyber criminals and the financial impact of attacks (see the infographic below).
An estimated US$1.75 trillion was lost in the Asia-Pacific region last year due to cyber attacks. That is 7% of the region's annual GDP, and more than Australia's annual GDP.
More than half of businesses surveyed had either been compromised by an attack during the year (25%), or could not say with any certainty whether they had been attacked or not (27%).
The effect of the attacks on employees was also shown to be significant. Two-thirds of compromised businesses (67%) had job losses due to the attacks.
How to secure your business
The recommendations from the report are clear. Adequate cyber security solutions are available to businesses, they just need to start adopting and enforcing their standards.
"Continue to invest in strengthening your security fundamentals: Over 90% of cyber incidents can be averted by maintaining the most basic best practices. Maintaining strong passwords, conditional use of multi-factor authentication against suspicious authentications, keeping device operating systems, software and anti-malware protection up-to-date and genuine can rapidly raise the bar against cyber attacks. This should include not just tool-sets but also training and policies to support a stronger fundamental."
- Updating your cyber security practices is an opportunity to explore more productive solutions. Security is a key focus of innovative software solutions.
- Choose the tools your business should use and exclude others. E.g. select a specific document management system and prevent staff from using personal cloud services like Dropbox & OneDrive personal.
- Perform regular security health checks. Assess against best practice and against previous performance to determine how your security is improving over time.
- Keep an eye on next-generation security solutions, particularly artificial intelligence.