Brian Hay is the Executive Director for Cultural Cyber Security Pty Ltd and has put together some tips for businesses in the light of the recent uncertainty in cyber security.
“The recent Optus Data Breach has sent shockwaves through Australian communities and people come to terms with the personal confrontation that they, their friends, or their loved ones, have been effected.
But what does this mean for today and the future?
The reality is that these data breaches are actually occurring every single day, it’s that we don’t normally get told of them and the pervasiveness of them is not normally so clear.
So, the extensive loss of personal data needs to be accepted and managed as a risk for today and for the future.
What we suggest are the following steps:
- Register your identity with a credit rating agency such as Equifax. For an annual or monthly fee they will monitor your credit rating and if anyone steals your identity and seeks to take out a personal loan or line of credit in your good name, you will be alerted and the matter averted – they refer to this as a “Credit Ban”;
- Let your friends or family know that you have been affected, and should they receive any unusual communications from you, that you need money urgently, or you are looking at a particular investment, that they should call you and confirm the situation immediately;
- Change your passwords and ideally, adopt the use of a Password Manager. Not only will this make managing your passwords easier and safer, but it will also prevent you from being taken to fake phishing sites;
- If your driver’s licence was compromised – seek a new licence;
- If your passport was compromised – seek a new passport, however, if you are scheduled to travel in the near future you may not be able to change your passport in time, so don’t panic, put it on the list “to do” when you return – enjoy that holiday!;
- Always enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) wherever possible in future online activities;
- Maintain vigilance around phishing emails, SMS messages, and unsolicited phone calls, as you can realistically expect to receive numerous communications attempting to steal your logon and password credentials and financial information. Be particularly wary of emails purporting to be from your bank, Optus or the Government – the cybercriminals will assume these personas;
- If you identify has been stolen and applied to a criminal purpose such as fraud, report the matter immediately to the police and we would suggest contacting ID Care, a Not For Profit Australian organisation set up to assist people to re-establish their stolen identities. ID Care’s website is www.idcare.org
- Be mindful of what information you share in the future on social media. The criminals have a host of personal sensitive information about you and knowing what you are doing and where you are doing it may provide them an opportunity to exploit the situation.
No doubt this is an ugly and unpleasant situation, but it can be appropriately managed and the risk reduced by taking appropriate steps today and into the future.”
We thank Brian Hay for his tips on cyber security and encourage all businesses to read and consider these, as well as seek their own individual advice.
For any further assistance, please contact your Hall Chadwick QLD advisor.