26 September 2023

Security warning as cyber threats rise

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The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has issued a warning to organisations to urgently adopt an enhanced cyber security posture in view of the heightened risk of attacks resulting from the war in Ukraine.

In a statement, the ACSC said that, following the Russian attack on Ukraine, the cyber threat risk had risen globally.

“The risk of cyber attacks on Australian networks, either directly or inadvertently, has increased,” the ACSC said.

“While the ACSC is not aware of any current or specific threats to Australian organisations, an enhanced cyber security posture and increased monitoring for threats will help to reduce any impacts,” it said.

The ACSC said a wide range of malicious cyber activity had been detailed in recent partner and industry reporting “including destructive malware, threats to common enterprise solutions and threats to specific sectors”.

“Organisations should review these reports and publications for information on threats and mitigations relevant to their networks,” it said.

“We have published a Cyber Incident Response Plan – Guidance and Template to assist organisations to produce an incident response plan.”

The ACSC strongly recommended organisations implement the Essential Eight mitigation strategies as a baseline.

“This baseline makes it much harder for adversaries to compromise systems,” it said.

The Essential Eight mitigation strategies are: Application control; patch applications; configure Microsoft Office macro settings; user application hardening; restrict administrative privileges; patch operating systems; multi-factor authentication; and regular back-ups.

The ACSC said it would continue to monitor the situation and would provide assistance or advice as required.

Organisations that have been impacted or require assistance can contact the ACSC on 1300 292 371.

The ACSC’s 38-pageCyber Incident Response Plan – Guidance and Template can be accessed at this PS News link.

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