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It’s Not If, But When: Why organisations must reconsider data protection in the cloud era

In a world increasingly reliant on cloud computing, the question is no longer if a cloud provider will experience a cyber-attack but rather when it will happen. Several high-profile incidents involving Microsoft and Oracle have put the spotlight on the vulnerabilities cloud services can have. And it’s not just tech giants; recently, a notorious Russian ransomware group, AlphV, claimed to have targeted multiple Victorian companies, ranging from pathology services to real estate agencies. The question arises: Is your data safe in the cloud?

Nick Lovell, the Global Sales Director for Cyber Security for Oper8 Global, says, “Another organisation, this time in Health, has its data exposed to the dark web; we implore Boards everywhere to review how their data is protected. If your organisation relies on perimeter and end-point protection, please consider protecting your data. This is no longer a question of if, but when will you be hacked!”

The Reality of Cyber Attacks on Cloud Providers

Cloud services, like Microsoft Azure or Oracle Cloud, offer advantages like scalability, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility. However, they are not immune to cyber threats, as recently demonstrated by the hours-long outage in Oracle’s Australia East region and the data breaches suffered by multiple Australian organisations. The attackers were not rookies but seasoned cyber-criminal groups that knew what they were doing.

Nick Lovell observes, “Unfortunately, another Australian organisation has had its customer data exposed to the unscrupulous dark web. Whilst it is early and not much is known, it will always be the vulnerable and less well-off in society that will suffer because of the data revealed.”

Evaluating Your Current Data Protection Measures

Given the increasing sophistication of cyber-attacks, it’s crucial for organisations to review their current data protection measures. More than relying on perimeter and endpoint protection is required. A multi-layered security approach is necessary to defend against various threats, including ransomware and phishing attacks.

A Closer Look at the Australian Attacks

The recent attacks on Victorian businesses like TissuPath, a pathology company, and Barry Plant Blackburn, a real estate agency, serve as case studies. These attacks led to the theft of sensitive data, including patient information and private health insurance details. While these companies had some form of cyber defence, the incidents prove that even companies that take cybersecurity seriously can become victims.

Watch Oper8 Global’s Latest Podcast with Robert Feldman from Gadens, explaining the Long-Tail Effects of Australia’s recent Data Breaches.

What You Can Do: Preventive Measures

Instead of waiting for a cyber catastrophe, proactive steps can be taken to minimise the risks. Measures like data encryption, regular software updates, and employee training can go a long way in protecting an organisation’s data.

The Stakes Are Too High

Cloud providers and their clients must recognise that the stakes are too high to ignore data protection. Investing in robust cybersecurity measures is not just better but significantly less costly than dealing with the aftermath of a data breach.

It’s not just about technology; it’s about safeguarding trust, reputation, and, ultimately, the well-being of individuals whose data we hold. Thus, prevention is better and significantly less costly than the cure, especially in cybersecurity.

Watch Oper8 Global’s Podcast with Jonathan Hemus from Insigna, discussing how having a crisis management plan can actually save your stock price

By acknowledging the risks and taking proactive steps, organisations can better secure their operations in the cloud era, turning the question of ‘when’ into a challenge they’re prepared to meet.

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