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Balancing Business IT Solutions: Delivering a Proactive and Reactive Approach to Cyber Incidents

Optus, Telstra & Medibank: Where has this wave of Cybercrime come from?

Cyber Incidents have become front-of-mind for many businesses in the aftermath of data breaches at Optus, Telstra and Medibank in recent months. Whilst these are large-scale corporations, don’t be lulled into thinking your business is safe because of its smaller stature.

A recent report by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) found that 76,000 cybercrimes were reported last year, with small and medium business losing an average of $39,000 and $88,000 per incident, respectively.  Furthermore, the corporate victims of these attacks were spread across over 15 different industries – so it’d be negligible for you to believe it can’t happen to your business too.

In saying this, we believe there are ways to best prevent it from happening. The best thing you can do however, is partner with an IT solutions partner, like Step Fwd IT, to find a proactive and reactive balance against cybercrime.

Delivering a Proactive and Reactive Approach to Cyber Incidents

Without assistance from external IT Business Solutions, cyber incidents can easily harm a business like yours. Ranging from data breaches and system failures to malware attacks and phishing scams, these incidents can hinder productivity, revenue growth and customer satisfaction.

In most cases, a cyber incident will result in data loss or downtime. In effect, this can include loss of confidential information, customer data or business records. Simultaneously, some cyber incident cases can also cause business interruption or financial loss.

We can all agree that no one wants their business to be hacked. A single cyberattack can rob you of your time, money, and peace of mind. In addition to getting systems operational and data restored, you must let all affected parties know that their data may have been compromised. Above all, this can be a difficult situation to navigate for anyone, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

In this blog, we’ll provide you with proactive and reactive approaches to tackle an attack, cope with the aftermath of a hack and prevent future incidents.

Proactive Steps to Implement

By taking these proactive steps, you can help protect your business from the devastating consequences of a cyberattack:

Conduct Regular Security Awareness Training

As a responsible business executive, you must ensure that your company’s security awareness training program is comprehensive, engaging and adaptable to new threats. In today’s digital age, this is critical to protect your business.

Run Regular Phishing Tests

Phishing is a type of cyberattack that employs deceitful techniques to try and obtain sensitive information from users or cause them to download malicious software. In furtherance, Phishing attacks can be highly sophisticated and challenging to detect, which is why it is essential to periodically test your employees to assess their vulnerability to this type of attack.

Reset Access Controls Regularly

It is crucial to regularly reset access controls to prevent unauthorized access to protected resources. Similarly, this also helps to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive information. With this in mind, resetting access controls can be done manually or with automated tools, but it is critical either way.

Use Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

Multifactor authentication is a security measure that has become enormously prominent amongst businesses in recent years. In essence, it requires your employees to provide more than one form of identification when accessing data, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized data access. In short, this can include something they know (like a password), something they have (like a security token) or something they are (like a fingerprint).

Routinely Update your Passwords

It’s critical to update your passwords regularly to help keep your account safe. For this reason, by updating your passwords every six months, you can help protect your account from being hacked.

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A virtual private network encrypts your company’s data and gives you complete control over who has access to it. Consequently, this can aid in the prevention of data breaches and the protection of your company’s information. Equally important, you must make sure to select a reputable provider offering robust security features.

Reactive Steps to Remember

Each business can formulate their own Incident Response plan, but an industry standard reactive incident response framework covers the following five phases:


To develop an effective incident response plan, identifying all forms of potential security risks remains paramount to the cyber-safety of a business. This includes, among other things, threats to your technology systems, data, and operations. Understanding these risks allows you to respond to incidents more effectively and reduce the impact of security breaches.


To protect your company, you need to develop and implement appropriate safeguards. For instance, security measures to guard against threats and steps to ensure the continuity of essential services in the event of an incident are examples of safeguards.


Discovering anomalies, such as unusual network activity or unauthorized access to sensitive data, is the critical and initial step in limiting any technological or financial damage to a business. Reactive detection of potential cyber incidents also gives your systems the best at a prompt and harm-free recovery. 


A plan to respond to detected cyber incidents is critical. This strategy should include breach containment, investigation, and resolution strategies.


To minimise disruption, you must have a plan to resume normal business operations as soon as possible after an incident.

Implementing the above proactive and reactive steps requires time, effort and skillsets. For this reason, these are possibly entities that are beyond what you can commit to now. However, you can still accomplish this by collaborating with an IT service provider like Step Fwd IT. Our experience and expertise may be just what you need in your Business IT solutions.

Feel free to reach out to the Step Fwd IT team today to schedule a consultation.

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