Cyber criminals now targeting small to medium businesses

| August 7, 2019

Australian Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs) are being urged to get Cyber-crime ready, with the number of businesses targeted by hackers tripling in the past year, according to specialist cyber security company, CTRL Group.

Reformed black hat hacker and now founder of CTRL Group, Bastien Treptel, said the alarming increase in cyber-attacks on SMB’s could be due to larger corporates tightening their security in order to protect their business.

Mr Treptel said his company is experiencing unprecedented demand from SMB’s who had had been hacked over the past few months.

“We’re seeing a lot more cases of invoice fraud.  One business recently lost over $50,000 as a result of a hacker taking control of the email of the person responsible for invoicing who was on maternity leave. The hacker then used this access to re-issue unpaid invoices with different account payment details and a note explaining the change of account.

“By the time everyone realised what had happened, the new account had been wiped clean and shut down.”

“The harsh reality is that small and medium businesses are not immune to major cyber-security breaches.  It is one of the largest business risks they face.”

According to a report by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, 44 per cent of Australian small businesses were unaware they are in jeopardy of a cyber-attack.

“The remaining 56 per cent, while they may be aware of their security position, they’re not adequately securing their data and information – no one is immune to cyber risk,” added Mr Treptel.

“Small businesses are going to experience a wave of repercussions if they continue to ignore the basic security measures and don’t aim to limit the risks.

“Hackers are no longer the typical hooded criminal in a basement with a binary code on the screen – we are now under threat by large-scale criminal organisations located all around the world.

“With Large corporates increasingly realising the risks and associated financial exposure they face following recent amendments to the Privacy Act legislation, SMB’s are becoming a bigger target than ever.

“Yet any business in Australia that turns over $3,000,000 annually faces the same obligations and financial penalties associated with the Notifiable Data Breach scheme under the Privacy Act.”