Culture, strategy and compliance are among the top tools Australian business leaders can leverage to protect their companies from cyber criminals in a rapidly-evolving threat landscape, according to new guidance from BSA | The Software Alliance.
A series of recent high-profile cyber attacks and data breaches in Australia has once again highlighted the importance of cyber security in todays business landscape. Cyber security has become a board-level issue, with C-level executives and directors coming under increased scrutiny in the wake of major incidents, many of which have impacted millions of consumers.
Against this backdrop, BSA | The Software Alliance the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace has issued updated guidance for Australian business leaders outlining the most important steps to help them safeguard their businesses against threats in the current cybersecurity environment.
The approach outlined in BSA's guidance features three key pillars and best practices that can help local business leaders establish a cybersecurity posture that will make their organisations stronger and more resilient in the face of rising cyber crime.
Developing a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Strategy
Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is critical to protect an organisation from the growing number and sophistication of cyber threats. A comprehensive strategy should include risk assessment, an incident response plan, and a security awareness program.
Using Licensed Software and Ensuring Compliance
One highly effective measure businesses in Australia can take to reduce the risk of cybersecurity threats is to use licensed software. Not only does this help to ensure software being used by a business and its employees is up-to-date with the latest security patches to avoid the exploitation by cyber criminals of zero day vulnerabilities, but it also helps to ensure compliance with Australian law.
Building a Cybersecurity Culture
Building a strong cybersecurity culture is critical to protecting organisations in Australia against cyber threats. While government efforts are being undertaken at both the federal and state levels to help foster a stronger cybersecurity culture in Australia, business leaders can also play a role by implementing strategies that promote a cybersecurity culture within their organisations.
The latest guidance by BSA also outlines the top five practical steps for business leaders to make their organisations safer. These include maintaining a cadence of regular security audits, partnering with appropriate security providers and establishing an incident response plan.
Moreover, BSA highlights the dangers of under-licensing software products and explains how legal, licensed, and updated software can in fact provide the first line of defence against cyber criminals seeking access to corporate data or information about a business's customers.
"Too many companies in Australia and New Zealand are using software without proper licensing, either because they are not paying for them or because IT managers are not properly implementing them," says Tarun Sawney, Senior Director, BSA | The Software Alliance.
"Using software without appropriate licensing is putting these companies at risk.
"At BSA, we want to encourage business leaders to be more proactive in ensuring their software is licensed and up to date. The ANZ regions reliance on technology and digitalisation has increased dramatically in recent years, making the country an attractive target for cyber criminals seeking to steal sensitive information or disrupt operations," Sawney says.
"The right approach to culture, strategy and compliance can provide a solid grounding upon which business leaders can anchor practical measures that will make their organisations stronger against cyber crime, now and into the future."