Cy­ber se­cu­rity top of firms’ to- do list

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

A TECH­NOL­OGY ex­hi­bi­tion in Townsville this month show­cas­ing the lat­est and great­est in sys­tems and tools for busi­ness also hopes to con­vince com­pa­nies to take the grow­ing in­ci­dence of cy­ber at­tacks more se­ri­ously.

Rev­e­la­tions this week that a hacker had in­fil­trated a de­fence con­trac­tor set alarm bells ring­ing, while the Aus­tralian Cy­ber Se­cu­rity Cen­tre also re­ported that losses to busi­nesses from cy­ber at­tacks had more than dou­bled to $ 20 mil­lion in 2016- 17.

NQ Tech Expo or­gan­iser and On-Board IT di­rec­tor Si­mon Green­wood said the is­sue was just as, if not more, rel­e­vant to Townsville and the expo was a good way to en­gage busi­ness.

Mr Green­wood said most in­cur­sions came through email and yet it was ab­surd that around a third of peo­ple still used the word “pass­word” as their pass­word.

“It’s a dis­grace. We are try­ing to find ways to have com­pa­nies, lo­cal busi­nesses, take own­er­ship of what they need to do to en­sure they are safe and se­cure,” Mr Green­wood said.

“Email is no more se­cure than a hand­writ­ten note passed through a room­ful of peo­ple.”

The NQ Tech Expo will be held at the Reid Park Pit Com­plex on Oc­to­ber 24- 25 and fea­ture cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy in data pro­tec­tion and re- cov­ery, the lat­est in 360- de­gree cam­eras, laser pro­jec­tors, con­fer­enc­ing equip­ment, dig­i­tal sig­nage, CCTV, point of sale tech­nol­ogy and un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles.

Mr Green­wood said com­pa­nies now faced a puni­tive sit­u­a­tion with the risk of big fines if they failed to take rea­son­able steps to pro­tect peo­ple’s data.

He said about a third of small and medium- sized busi­nesses in Aus­tralia would be touched by some sort of ran­somware at­tack from ma­li­cious soft­ware.

“If you are found to have not made ev­ery ef­fort to se­cure your data, you could be in trou­ble.

“There will be fines to pay and they will be enor­mous,” Mr Green­wood said.

“Busi­nesses have to pull their heads out of the sand.”

He said while pro­tec­tions were con­sid­ered com­pli­cated, scary or ex­pen­sive, the cost of ran­somware for a per­sonal com­puter was $ 6 a month.

“It is less than what we spend on cof­fee in the of­fice,” Mr Green­wood said.

Expo or­gan­iser Dar­ryl Byrne of NQAV said about 40 ex­hibitors would show­case tech­nolo­gies with break­out ses­sions and demon­stra­tions and the abil­ity to en­gage with ex­perts face- to- face.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion go to nqtech­


KEY OR­GAN­IS­ERS: NQAV’s Dar­ryl Byrne, On­Board IT’s Si­mon Green­wood and Lo­calsearch Dis­cov­ery Team’s Jade Bowen check out the site.

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