Russia, Ukraine hackers set to target Australian businesses. Are you prepared?

The Russia/Ukraine conflict raises the spectre of a surge in cyberattacks on countries supporting Ukraine – including Australia. That’s the warning from the ACSC. 

Should Australian businesses take this threat seriously? Absolutely, says Travis Carter, Director of Retrac: “Threats are definitely on the rise , . And the more the western world helps Ukraine, the more Russia will want to retaliate.”  

He recommends that Australian businesses should be aware of the increased threat and get protected. If they’re unsure about their security, now is the time to seek professional help and consider taking out a Cyber Insurance policy, he says.

So, what are the risks? 

Expected cyber attacks from Russia and other countries may not only target individual businesses, but entire industries. The aim will be to cause major damage such as a collapse of economic activity.  

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a common method which they may undertake. By flooding websites with bogus requests, hackers can stop business for the duration. 

“We‘ve also seen an increase in phishing attacks via the web and email to trick people into revealing their passwords,” says Jason O’Shannassy Senior Cloud Architect at Retrac . Jason has specifically been tasked with monitoring the advancement of intelligent cyber threats and improving Retrac’s policies and procedures to combat these.  

Once inside your systems, data theft is a key aim, and the resulting monetary loss and reputational damage can be devastating. 

Various types of malware can also be deployed. Attackers can disable your user accounts, and demand a ransom to regain access to them.  

Smaller businesses are particularly vulnerable because many don’t secure their computers, devices and systems adequately. Anti-virus software alone isn’t enough. This is a loophole which cyber criminals constantly try to exploit and something that Retrac has put a lot of time into developing processes around to ensure their customers are protected.  

Travis Carter adds a crucial insight: “Before, the main goal of cyber attacks was getting money. Now, with cyber warfare, it’s heading in the direction of  disabling businesses.” 

The key takeout is this: cyber risk always exist, but the risk has definitely heightened over the last month. It’s best to be prepared so you know your business, staff and customers are protected,, and that you are in the best position to manage this risk.   

Make security a priority  

The ASCS has warned businesses that security has to be top of mind, especially for the financial services industry who are even more likely to be targeted by a cyber attack. The good news is you’re not alone. Microsoft are releasing security packages with extra protection for cloud services that will flow on to their customers. 

But ultimately, the buck stops with you: it’s the responsibility of directors to ensure their business stays secure. In fact, it’s similar to their responsibility when it comes to OH&S. 

How safe are you with us? 

If you have the IT Security Bundle, your business is as safe as it can be.  

The IT Security Bundle adds an extra layer of security to the Complete Cloud offering. It approaches security from both ends – covering off cloud apps as well as the devices that access them. “From the cloud to the user, we have everything covered from A to Z”, says Jason O’Shannassy. 

Devices have real-time protection against malware and phishing attacks, while apps are secured with access rules. With the cloud, Retrac has immediate and automated responses to threats as well as protection against data loss. Most importantly, they are proactive and use methods that are tested and proven. 

The results speak for themselves. Retrac’s new customers usually have a Microsoft security score for cloud apps at around 20-30% when they first speak to Retrac. After Retrac does their work, that score generally rises to 70%, which shows the level of security that Retrac can help you implement.  

What if someone else manages your security? 

You need to be confident you’re protected. That may mean an external review, or talking to your service provider to ensure everything is checked off. Make sure they’re not just protecting infrastructure like routers and switches, but are also securing your wider cloud model of working. 

At the least, ask them the same questions Retrac have received from their customers: 

  • Are detection, mitigation and response measures being reviewed and enhanced? 
  • Are log in and detection systems fully updated? 
  • Is network monitoring being increased? 
  • Has your ability to respond to a cyber threat been assessed? 
  • Have incident response and business continuity plans been reviewed? 


What should you do now? 

If you have the Complete Cloud offering from Retrac, consider upgrading to the IT Security Bundle. If you already have the bundle for all your team members, don’t worry – you’re well protected. 

If you use another security service provider, evaluate their performance in the light of increased threats. If you’re not 100% confident in them, it’s time to switch. 

If you don’t have an IT partner helping you manage your IT security, there is no harm in getting a risk assessment.   as soon as possible. You can complete a 5-minute online assessment which will help give you some indication here. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to the Retrac team.