In today's hyperconnected world, the critical importance of cyber security cannot be overstated. Whether you're a small startup or a multinational corporation, the best practices in cyber security are fundamental to safeguarding your organisation against the ever-present threats of cybercrime. As an expert IT company, Secure Access is here to guide you through this multifaceted realm, offering insights into the significance of cyber security, its various aspects, and how you can fortify your business in Australia.

Understanding Cyber Security

At its core, cyber security, also known as computer security or data security, is the practice of safeguarding your digital systems, networks, and data from theft, damage, or unauthorised access. In today's digital age, where business operations heavily rely on technology and data, a breach in cyber security can be catastrophic. Thus, adopting robust security measures is paramount.

The Pervasiveness of Cybercrime

Cybercrime is a growing menace, with cybercriminals becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods. The Department of Home Affairs in Australia acknowledges the escalating threat and the need for stringent protective measures. As businesses store vast amounts of sensitive data, such as customer information, financial records, and intellectual property, they have become attractive targets for cybercriminals seeking unauthorised access, data theft, or even disruption of operations.

The Need for Best Practices

To mitigate these threats, businesses must adopt best practices in cyber security. At Secure Access, we advocate following established frameworks to fortify your defences. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provides one such framework that offers a comprehensive approach to enhancing your cyber security posture.

NIST comprises a set of guidelines, standards, and best practices that cover various aspects of cyber security. By adhering to these standards, businesses can significantly reduce their vulnerability to cyber threats. At Secure Access, we specialise in helping organisations implement the NIST framework to achieve robust security measures.

Cyber Security Certifications

When it comes to cyber security, it's essential to have knowledgeable and skilled professionals on your team. Cyber security certifications are instrumental in ensuring that your workforce is equipped to handle the evolving landscape of threats. Certifications such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) are widely recognised and respected in the field.

As an IT company, we encourage our clients to invest in their team's education and skills by pursuing these certifications. By having certified professionals in your organisation, you not only enhance your security posture but also gain a competitive edge in the market.

Cyber Safety: A Collective Responsibility

While the responsibility for cyber security falls heavily on individual businesses, there's also a collective duty to maintain a safe digital environment. Organisations can report cyber threats and incidents to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), which is part of the Australian Signals Directorate. By promptly reporting incidents, businesses contribute to a broader understanding of cyber threats, enabling authorities to develop more effective strategies for prevention and response.

The Educational Path: Cyber Security Courses

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of cyber security, there are various educational paths to explore. A Bachelor of Cyber Security is an excellent starting point, offering a comprehensive curriculum that covers the fundamentals and advanced aspects of cyber security. As an aspiring professional in this field, you can also find numerous cyber security courses online to enhance your knowledge and skills.

The World of Cyber Security Jobs

As the demand for cyber security professionals continues to rise, the job market in this field is exceptionally promising. Cyber security jobs span a wide spectrum, including roles such as security analysts, ethical hackers, security consultants, and chief information security officers (CISOs). The need for experts who can secure and protect digital infrastructure has never been higher.

At Secure Access, we emphasise the critical nature of cyber security and advocate for the adoption of best practices. With the support of recognised frameworks like NIST, the pursuit of cyber security certifications, and a commitment to ongoing education, businesses can bolster their defences and actively participate in creating a safer digital landscape. The field of cyber security is dynamic and ever evolving, demanding a proactive stance in safeguarding your organisation. By focusing on cyber safety, reporting cyber incidents, and fostering a workforce well-versed in cyber security, businesses in Australia can navigate this digital age with confidence. At Secure Access, we're dedicated to partnering with you on this journey, offering our expertise and solutions to ensure your business remains secure and resilient in the face of cyber threats.

In today's fast-paced and digitally driven world, businesses worldwide, face unprecedented challenges in managing their IT infrastructure, safeguarding sensitive data, and staying ahead of cyber threats. With the ever-evolving technology landscape, the importance of reliable IT support cannot be overstated. This is where Managed IT Services come into play.

Secure Access is an award-winning IT Business Solutions company established more than 20 years ago on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
In this blog, we'll explore why Secure Access recommends businesses should choose Managed IT Services for their ongoing maintenance, account keeping, user information management, and as a crucial defence against the growing array of cyber threats.

Streamlined Ongoing Maintenance

Efficient and consistent IT maintenance is the backbone of a successful business. Secure Access is an IT Service provider in Southeast Queensland who offers a proactive approach to IT maintenance. Instead of relying on a reactive break-fix model, businesses can benefit from regular system checks, updates, and optimisations. This proactive stance ensures that potential issues are identified and resolved before they can disrupt operations.

Secure Access understands the importance of staying operational across many industries:
Managing sensitive client information and storing it securely is crucial for legal firms;
System availability and data security are critical for healthcare providers;
Data management and security compliance are essential for accounting firms;
Client relationship management is integral for real estate and construction businesses;
Customer experience and reputation are everything for hospitality and events businesses.

Additionally, Secure Access can tailor your Managed IT Services to suit specific business needs, which is especially advantageous for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and beyond. With tailored IT maintenance plans, businesses can allocate their resources more effectively and focus on core business activities, leaving the technical intricacies to experts.

Account Keeping and User Information Management

Managing and securing sensitive user information and account data is paramount for any business. Whether companies are based near their headquarters on the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane or overseas, Secure Access is a Managed IT Services provider who understands the importance of robust data management and security measures. These services go beyond routine maintenance by offering comprehensive solutions for account keeping and user information management.

Managed IT Services providers offer data backup and recovery services, ensuring that critical business data is protected against unforeseen disasters such as hardware failures, natural disasters, or cyberattacks. They also implement access controls, encryption, and user authentication protocols to safeguard sensitive information. Compliance with data protection regulations is another area where these services excel, helping businesses navigate the complex landscape of data privacy laws.

Cyber Threat Mitigation

As technology advances, so do cyber threats. Australian businesses are not immune to the ever-evolving landscape of cyberattacks, which can range from ransomware and phishing to data breaches and denial-of-service attacks. Managed IT Services are well-equipped to address these threats head-on.

By continuously monitoring networks and systems, Secure Access can detect suspicious activities and potential vulnerabilities. They can then implement robust security measures, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software. Moreover, they stay up to date with the latest cybersecurity trends and threats, ensuring that businesses remain one step ahead of potential attackers.

In the unfortunate event of a cyber incident, Secure Access offer rapid response and recovery services. Their expertise in incident response can minimise downtime and data loss, helping businesses across Queensland and beyond recover quickly and efficiently.

Cost Efficiency and Scalability

One of the significant advantages of opting for Managed IT Services is the potential for cost savings and scalability. Many businesses find that maintaining an in-house IT department can be expensive, as it requires hiring and retaining skilled personnel, investing in hardware and software, and ongoing training. In contrast, Secure Access offers Managed IT Services, a more cost-effective and scalable solution.

Australian businesses can benefit from a predictable monthly fee structure, eliminating unexpected IT expenses. This cost predictability allows for better budgeting and financial planning. Furthermore, as businesses grow or face changes in their IT needs, Secure Access can easily scale their services up or down, ensuring that the IT infrastructure aligns with the business's evolving requirements.

Enhanced Productivity and Focus on Core Operations

Choosing Secure Access not only brings technical expertise but also enhances overall business productivity. By offloading IT management responsibilities to professionals, businesses can free up valuable time and resources. This, in turn, allows employees to focus on core business operations, innovation, and customer service.

Moreover, Secure Access offer 24/7 365 remote or onsite support, ensuring that IT issues are addressed promptly, even outside regular business hours. This constant availability minimises downtime and disruptions, promoting uninterrupted business operations.

In conclusion, Managed IT Services with Secure Access are the trusted choice for businesses local to the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and beyond seeking ongoing maintenance, account keeping, user information management, and protection against cyber threats. These services offer streamlined IT maintenance, robust data management and security, and proactive cyber threat mitigation. Additionally, they bring cost efficiency, scalability, and enhanced productivity to the table. With the ever-increasing reliance on technology, Australian businesses cannot afford to neglect their IT needs. Choosing Managed IT Services with Secure Access is a strategic move that not only ensures the smooth functioning of IT infrastructure but also allows businesses to focus on what they do best – serving their customers and driving growth. In this digital age, Secure Access Managed IT Services are the indispensable partners in achieving sustained success and resilience against evolving challenges.

We are always talking about technology transforming at a fast pace that is hard to keep up with but what businesses needs to know and understand is what new technology can transform their business in a positive and productive way forward.

In the last year I have seen AI (Artificial Intelligence) come into it own in the business space such as “Siri, lock the door. “Cortana, whats my schedule for tomorrow?” These virtual assistants are the norm, now. 

There is a big focus on analytics of data and is driving changes in many areas of focus such as manufacturing, healthcare, smart cities and much more. You need to ask yourself how the data your business collates can benefit your company.

The adoption of the latest hardware and software can transform your business in leaps and bounds but the technology must be taken on by your employees or your company will find it challenging to bring your staff onboard with the new technology.

Staying connected with your IT business partner will keep your business moving forward with the latest technology by implementing new systems gradually so the new technology will engage and excite your employees rather than cause change fatigue.

Technology will always be transforming it’s how the company and staff culture will lead its development into the business which will determine its success and benefits to the business.

As an IT consultant on a daily basis I see business being attacked by Viruses, Spyware and held ransom for their data in extreme events. How do you as a business protect yourself from the online threats which seem to be looking over our shoulder all the time.

Years ago, the typical hacking scenario involved a lone attacker maybe some buddies that created code and targeted specific sites but now days its evolved to bidding markets for maleware, crime syndicates, botnets for hire and cyber warfare.

People not computers create computer threats and they probe the internet looking for the security vulnerabilities and they also rely on humans to allow their exploits into the system either unintentionally or unknowingly.

So how, do you say that we are to protect ourselves from the online attacks and threats?

There is some simple measure you can put in placed to help prevent cyberattackers visiting your business.

First – Put the right technologies in place such as a firewall to protect your network from the outside web, implement a strong password policy in your network, use cyber protection software that hunts for viruses and malware and update your computers with the latest security patches on a weekly basis.

Second- Train your staff on best practices when dealing with secure passwords, opening email attachment from random people and recognising unsecure website sites asking for personal data.

Third – Most importantly make sure your business has a backup plan in place for your company’s data. Is it being backup up daily and being stored offsite? In cases becoming more common they are holding your company’s data and asking for money in return for the data. If you have a backup in place you can restore to before the attack and not pay a cent.

By implementing a proactive approach to your security, educating your users, and taking advantage of the latest virus software, you’ll be better able to prevent, detect, and strengthen your business against attacks and not being the next victim.

When I talk about your business being completely online I am referring to having your company being completely reliant on the internet for your accounting system, access to all your company files, pos systems, eftpos and telephone system any other cloud base programs that your company is dependent on to operate.

There are many reasons why companies are now all online and there are risks that come with being completely cloud based.

When the NBN came into play it meant that the old copper network was being removed which than lead companies into having their phone systems, alarms and eftpos systems to cloud base technology.

Than as software and database programs started to evolve into cloud base applications and online file sharing the need for an on-premise server was soon phasing out which meant that the companies were completely online.

The risk to being completely online is if your internet provider was to go down your business would grind to a halt as all access to your information would stop which meant downtime for the whole company.

How can you mitigate this risk is not complicated and can be very simple to implement and can save you downtime while the main internet provider comes back online.

We suggest two options mainly and they are affordable when you evaluate the risk.

• Install a modem router with a 4G backup plan so if the main internet line goes down the 4G will run most of the company’s resources except online phone systems but you can easily divert your cloud base phone system to a mobile number until the internet is back online.

• Install a firewall with an additional NBN internet provider such as if you are with Telstra as your main internet company you would than add another NBN plan with another provider so when the main internet goes down it will switch over to the other provider.

It means that you have redundancy with your internet which can be the 4G option or an additional NBN plan with another provider to than lower the risk of complete outage of your company.

Another benefit of having two NBN connections and a firewall is that you can divide your internet traffic between both internet connections and one can handle you phone system and the other all internet traffic to your online applications.

Eventually, the time will come in your business where you will be reliant on the internet to handle most of your company’s day-to-day activities, so why wait, start planning now and avoid the potential risk which can easily be implemented by your trusted IT advisor.

I know myself the first action I do when I go into work in the morning is to open my emails and have a coffee and quickly trawl through the list to see if there are any items that I need to action straight away but unfortunately, I get caught up with reading and filing all my current emails.

I know what you are thinking –zero unread messages give you that temporary satisfactionthat you are update. The fact is you are fighting an uphill battle as your inbox starts to refill immediately.

Let’s face it we all fall into the trap of scanning our emails consistently during the day but let’s work on some small steps to how we can improve our productivity in the office.

Step One – When you first arrive in at the office, work on your most meaningful tasks for the day and allocate at least the first 1-2 hours.

Step Two- Turn off all email notification from your outlook or other mail systems and that also includes your phone and tablet as we don’t want any distracting noises.

Step Three – Allocate two-time slots of 1 hour each in your calendar for the day to open and answer your emails.

Just remember that you’re in control of your daily schedule and beating the temptation of opening email constantly will only bring about more productivity into your day.

Good Luck😊

Fantastic Turn-Out to the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce 's Steve Baxter Better Business Breakfast event in Caloundra on Friday.

Steve Baxter is the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and Shark Tank Favourite who joined a panel to discuss current issues including the future of business and encouraging the youth to give it a go.

As a proud Major Sponsor along with Storagecraft a massive 450 attendees with a long wait list.
It's great to hear from Steve and his take on how changes to bandwidth will inspire business innovation and growth.

For Future Events and Further information Follow the Secure Access Facebook Page

ABN 59 090 705 445
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