TECHNOLOGY is a great tool for business but also a great tool for organised crime – and it’s not a matter of if but when a local business will be hit.
That’s the warning from Cloudwize Technologies director Jo Byrnes after recent reports of even more inventive cyber scams and attacks in the region.
One of the presenters at the upcoming 2019 Tamworth Regional Business Summit, Ms Byrnes said technology could be used “to penetrate organisations, to create false information and false identities that are then used in fraudulent activities”.
Her comments came after Tamworth business Super Steel revealed it had been the target of data theft and a demand for ransom – which it had refused to pay.
Ms Byrnes said other schemes she’d seen in this region included CEO fraud or “spoofing” – where a cybercriminal impersonates an executive and sends the finance department what appears to be an internal email asking for money to be transferred.
Another is where a real estate agency’s email to a tenant about rent is intercepted and the bank account details replaced.
“It’s not that those people have accessed internal emails, they’ve just been able to wrap an alias around it to make it looks like it’s genuine.”
‘It can destroy lives’
Ms Byrnes said she was often impressed at the abilities involved.
“If only they could use their skills for good rather than evil; the talent required to do the things they do is fantastic.”
She said there was too much at stake for businesses to be complacent, but there were ways they could protect themselves.
“The workshop will cover mandatory data breach reporting requirements, information on ways cyber-criminals access data, what to do when it happens and some surprising statistics.
“While there is a preventative cost involved, the cost of not doing anything is far greater.
“Cybercrime really can destroy lives.”
She said that, “unfortunately for the industry, we’re constantly playing catch-up”.
“The positive is that we will see something happen at one site and put in place protections across our entire portfolio.”
Nearing the summit
The two-day business summit, on February 20 and 21, will also include sessions on social media and marketing; finance; hiring in a competitive market; and mental health in the workplace.
Tamworth Business Chamber president Jye Segboer said it would “educate, connect and prepare” businesses for the future.
Registrations can be made at tamworthregionalbusinesssummit.com or on 6766 4810.