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Jacqui GrahamDecember 6, 20234 min read

Contractors' Role in Strengthening Cybersecurity

As technology becomes more complex as it continues to rapidly evolve, so too does the strength, the complexity and the variety of cybersecurity threats, where cybercriminals continue to exploit any vulnerabilities in businesses networks and systems.  

Security experts have realised that technology alone is not enough to protect their organisations. As employees remain susceptible to social engineering attacks and risky security practices, organisations are prioritising building strong security cultures, and are driven to explore more innovative strategies to fortify their defences!  

One such approach that is quickly gaining prominence is the integration of skilled contractors.  Here we discuss the ways contracting cybersecurity expertise can really enhance your business's resilience against a multitude of cybercrimes - from website defacement or data breaches that reveal confidential information to major disasters like ransomware infections or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that cause significant losses in revenue and customer trust.

The Year in review 

According to the Australian Cyber Security Center ACSC report 22/23, Nearly 94,000 cybercrimes were reported in the last year, which is up 23% on the previous year, and equates to on average a report being made every 6 minutes.  The findings revealed:

The average cost of cybercrime per report (up 14%)

  • Small business: $46,000
  • Medium business: $97,200
  • Large business: $71,600.

Nearly 94,000 cybercrime reports were made (up 23%)

  • On average a report every 6 minutes
  • An increase from 1 report every 7 minutes.

Top 3 cybercrime types for individuals in 2023

  • Identity fraud
  • Online banking fraud
  • Online shopping fraud.

Top 3 cybercrime types for business in 2023

  • Email compromise
  • Business email compromise (BEC) fraud
  • Online banking fraud.

If you're an Australian business reading this, there's a 30% chance you will suffer a data breach within the next 6 months.  While these statistics might be unsettling, being aware of them is essential to proactively safeguard your business against them. 

 

Why Contractors are your Answer to Enhanced Cybersecurity

 

1. Access to Specialised Skills

Cybersecurity contractors provide access to highly specialised skills, augmenting and enhancing your existing team's capabilities. Their expertise spans a wide array of cybersecurity domains, ensuring a comprehensive defence strategy.

2. Scalability and Flexibility

Businesses benefit from the flexibility to scale cybersecurity efforts based on evolving needs. Contractors provide a responsive defence strategy, allowing for adjustments in real-time to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

3. Cost-Effective Solutions

Engaging contractors for specific cybersecurity projects offers a cost-effective solution. Businesses can leverage the expertise of contractors without the long-term financial commitments associated with hiring full-time specialists, ensuring optimal resource allocation.

4. Strategic Planning and Execution

Contractors seamlessly integrate into strategic planning and execution. They collaborate with business leaders to align cybersecurity measures with broader organizational goals, ensuring a cohesive and effective defense strategy.

5. Embracing Innovation in Cybersecurity

 In the face of persistent cyber threats, embracing innovation is critical. Contractors can bring valuable expertise, collaboration, and scalability to your cybersecurity strategy. By leveraging these resources, businesses can build a resilient defence against evolving threats and ensure the long-term security of their digital assets.

So How Can Contractors Help in Real Terms 

  • Phishing Attacks: Expert Training for Employees

Over 90% of Australian businesses reported a successful phishing attack last year – the highest of any country, and a 53% year-on-year increase. It’s crucial to educate your employees on how to spot these attacks.  Contractors can play a crucial role in elevating employee awareness and their specialised training sessions can empower your teams to recognise and thwart phishing attempts effectively, reducing the risk of falling victim to social engineering tactics.

  • Ransomware: Collaborative Defense Strategies

Ransomware remains the most destructive cybercrime threat to Australians, and collaboration is key in the fight against it. Contractors can work seamlessly with your in-house IT teams to fortify defences, conduct risk assessments, and implement advanced security technologies. This joint effort ensures a robust defence against the evolving tactics of ransomware attackers.

  • Data Breaches: Strengthening Security Measures

Data breaches in Australia are on the rise, particularly in the financial and healthcare industries.

The Australian government has been responding by revising their cybersecurity policies to counter these nation-state threats. However, businesses can’t rely solely on government initiatives alone. Cybersecurity contractors can offer tailored solutions beyond governmental efforts with the implementation of encryption protocols, access controls, and regular security audits.  Their expertise ensures the safeguarding of sensitive information and can ensure watertight compliance with regulations. 

  • Malware and Viruses: Proactive Security Measures

Malware refers to any type of code or program that is used for a malicious purpose. A malware attack can have serious and ongoing impacts to your business. Malware can also act as an entry point for cybercriminals, opening the door to further malicious activity.

To combat malware and viruses, contractors can contribute to the development and execution of comprehensive cybersecurity strategies. Their focused involvement ensures the deployment of cutting-edge antivirus software, firewalls, and proactive measures to prevent the infiltration of malicious software.

  • Insider Threats: Minimising Internal Vulnerabilities

Insider threats can be mitigated through the fresh eyes of specialist contractors who can assist in establishing stringent access controls and monitoring user privileges. This proactive approach minimises the risk of malicious activities from within, enhancing the overall security posture of the organisation.

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Cyber crime continues to be a significant challenge for businesses worldwide. As the world becomes more digital every year, cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common.

Cyber security specialist contractors can deep dive audit your business, advise you on the right security solutions for your working needs, and could manage your entire IT environment for maximum protection. Remember, cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Integrating contractors into your cybersecurity strategy is not just a defence against threats – it's an investment in the future resilience of your organisation.  

Get in touch with Oncore to discuss how we can support you in this quest, ensuring your business gets the very best out of its contractor engagements. 



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