Your online trades business has the tools it needs to make money, but does it have the tools it needs to keep it safe?
If you answer “no” to this question, you wouldn’t be alone.
It’s extremely common for tradies’ vans and sites to be targeted by thieves and opportunistic criminals. As such, tradies have been taking active steps to protect these assets for years. One of the best options is a Public Liability Insurance for tradies that can include tool protection. However, many tradies have failed to invest in cybersecurity and cyber liability protection, which has resulted in cybercriminals systematically attacking trade-based businesses.
It’s not just tradies who are impacted. Businesses with weak and unprotected virtual presences are much more likely to be attacked by cybercriminals. In fact, cybercrimes cost the Australian economy an estimated $1 billion each year. What’s worse is that this figure is set to increase significantly as cyber-attacks are on the rise among Australian businesses.
It’s likely that you’re now wondering what steps you can take to
protect your business against cybercrimes. The best defence is a good offense! Contrary to what you may think, you do not need to spend an absolutely fortune on cutting-edge security tools and software to adequately protect your business against cybercrime. To safeguard yourself online, you should actively monitor activities and ensure all employees follow good cyber protocols – it isn’t as challenging as you think!
What is cybercrime?
Cybercrime refers to crimes committed with the use of a computer and a network. This computer may have served as the means or the target of a crime.
The crime itself can impact businesses and individuals in an array of ways and can take different forms. Cyber-dependent crimes are those that involve the use of a digital system to perform the attack. For instance, stealing data over a network, uploading malware to a businesses databases, and disrupting IT infrastructures. In the majority of the cases, the data theft will lead to the execution of further crimes.
Cyber-enabled crimes are those that involve transforming an existing crime in terms of scope or scale through the use of technologies. As a result of the massive growth in the Internet, crimes of this nature have become increasingly common.
The threat of cybercrime is real. It may threaten the financial and security wellbeing of an individual, a business or even an entire country!
Who typically commits cybercrimes?
While Hollywood blockbuster films may lead us all to believe cyberattacks are carried out by large criminal organisations targeting major corporations (which certainly does occur), the majority of the time, cybercrimes are carried out by tech-savvy, young thieves. Cybercriminals begin their criminal career at an early age, with an estimated 61% beginning before the age of 16. Furthermore, the average age of individuals who are arrested for cyberattacks is just 17 years old.
This means that your business is not immune from an attack just because your operations may be relatively small scale.
How does this affect your trades business?
Hackers can often be just kids messing around. However, in the more serious cases, cybercriminals may have been hired by targeted criminal organisations that are out to cause maximum harm. Keeping this in mind is important as the objective of an attack often directly dictates how it is carried out.
Cybercrime includes online piracy, malware, extortion, scams, and fraud. Tradies, in particular, need to monitor for scams, fraud, and extortion, since these are the main types of cybercrime that can significantly disrupt their businesses.
Cyberattacks of the type described here commonly take the following form:
- Phishing attacks
- Business email compromise (BEC)
In the meantime, if there’s one piece of advice you should always follow, it’s this: Always proceed with caution if something seems too good to be true or appears to be threatening.
Is your business at risk? What do you stand to lose?
All businesses are at risk from cybercrime and there can be severe financial, reputation, and legal consequences to a cyberattack on your business. In Australia, for example, 40% of incidents of cybercrime cost businesses between $1,000 and $5,000. According to comparethemarket.com.au, the Australian government recommends that all businesses have a cybersecurity policy in place to minimise the risk of online attacks.
Don’t run the risk of being a victim of cybercrime
If you’re concerned about being the victim of a cybercrime, your concerns are well founded. Don’t turn a blind eye to the risk, take proactive action to protect your business now.