MYOB urges businesses to take cyber security seriously
24 Mar 2020
Tech industry leader says local businesses need to seriously consider security when moving to new operating models, including working from home
Local businesses, especially small and medium sized enterprises, will need to focus on security if they are to successfully and safely change their operating model in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
With working from home programs becoming increasing prevalent to reduce the spread of COVID-19, leading tech company MYOB says cybersecurity will be a key risk to be addressed by SMEs implementing this model.
MYOB Head of Product, SME, Dale Dixon says in the rapidly changing environment businesses should be as prepared as they can be for remote work, with clear guidelines on how to protect themselves and their businesses as best they can.
“If we follow the same path as many other countries and go into ‘lockdown’, businesses will look to keep their operations running by implementing remote working technology,” Mr. Dixon said.
“In Australia we’ve never experienced a disruption to business on this scale. Not all businesses will have the knowledge or capability to implement a significant change to how they work quickly and safely.
“In addition to the technical challenges of implementing or scaling up remote working technology comes the risk of securing businesses against cyberattack.”
There are several actions that SMEs can take to protect themselves online including updating all software with the latest security upgrades and patches, installing and updating firewalls on home services and using technology to enable password protection, such as 2-Factor Authentication (2FA).
In addition, it is important to educate other home users – such as children – on the risks of scams, malware and phishing attacks that could infect devices.
It is also important to protect business communications by using a VPN or another secure communication method when connecting to your business over Public WiFi services.
“It’s important that all businesses consider the key security and continuity risks involved in transitioning to a remote working operation,” Mr. Dixon said.
MYOB’s key security recommendations for SMEs working from home:
- Update all software and operating systems with the latest security updates and patches
- Make sure firewall technologies are installed and configured appropriately on systems used at home
- Keep all endpoint protection services, such as anti-virus and anti-malware software enabled and updated
- Ensure routers and other telecommunications equipment don’t use default passwords and credentials.
- Use multi-factor authentication (2FA) for all remotely accessible services and systems where possible (2FA creates additional security by requiring a one-use code generated by an authorisation app)
- Update filtering for spam and malware on email systems
- Ensure backups are in place on all key systems and data
- Don’t store customer data without adequate security
- Keep staff informed of all incident response procedures as they apply to remote working
- Ensure that administrators or privileged users are aware and follow all security processes and procedures
- Provide adequate security awareness training regarding staying safe at home (https://security-awareness.sans.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/03-SSA-WorkingFromHome-FactSheet.pdf)
Further information on cyber security can be found at: https://www.cyber.gov.au/news/cyber-security-essential-when-preparing-covid-19
For more information please contact:
Selina Ife, Communications Consultant, MYOB
MYOB is a leading provider of online business management solutions. MYOB makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB operates across three core segments – Clients and Partners (business solutions to SMEs and Advisers); Enterprise Solutions (larger businesses) and Payment Solutions. We also provide ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. We are committed to ongoing innovation, particularly through our Connected Practice Strategy and through the development of the MYOB Platform. For more information visit https://www.myob.com/au/ or follow @MYOB on Twitter.