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New Consumer Privacy Act should be a wake-up call

You’ll have seen updates from Sybiz in recent years about the ever-increasing number of federally mandated data protection schemes introduced around the world.

These include the European GDPR, Australia’s Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme, New Zealand’s strengthening of the Privacy Act and now the California Consumer Privacy Act taking effect in January 2020.

It has become increasingly clear with these types of legislation, because of their broad reach, that data privacy is no longer something a business can ignore. For example, in the case of GDPR, if you store data on any European citizen you must comply with GDPR’s directives regardless of your location.

Sybiz is committed to your data privacy

Data security has always been a priority for Sybiz.

Our software has been designed to give business owners control over who can view, edit, or process information. Sybiz solutions also have the ability to track user interactions to ensure accountability.

Many people tell themselves that they will never experience a data breach; believing their system is secure enough or that the data they hold isn’t important enough to steal. However small businesses and individuals are prime targets for hackers exactly because they do not feel they are at risk.

The ACCC reported over $4.5 million was lost by small businesses in Australia to online scams in 2018. That same year, Australians overall lost over half a billion dollars to fraudsters.

Higher risks (for you) means higher rewards (for hackers)

Phishing scams and social engineering have become incredibly sophisticated.

Emails that look convincingly like an invoice from a supplier or a file from a trusted source can permit access to your computer system for a malicious third party. It can be months before the breach is discovered, by which time the hacker has already taken all the data they needed and moved on to another scam.

In most cases, it is staff clicking on these types of malicious files that leads to the breach.

And data is rarely the only target for hackers. Hackers frequently fool staff into funnelling thousands of dollars into their bank accounts.

Strengthen your first line of defence

Your staff are your first line of defence.

Hackers frequently hide their scams as invoices from MYOB, Xero, Telstra, Optus, the Australian Taxation Office or other business suppliers. It is not unheard of for employees to open (or pay) an invoice for a utility company or supplier they don’t even use!

These fake invoices can also infect your system with malicious software or direct users to websites that allow hackers to gain access.

Whether it’s due to a lack of diligence or an abundance of curiosity, it can cost a business more than just time.
Education about the dangers and repercussions of a data breach is critical for all employees.
If you haven’t already, make plans to inform your staff of data privacy risks and simple steps everyone can take to protect information. You can find more information about protecting your business and educating staff from the Australian Taxation Office or from ScamWatch.

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