Protect data against MITM attacks

Protect data against MITM attacks

The Man-in-the-Middle attack is one of the most common cyberattacks. It tricks the person and server to think they’re communicating with each other. This malicious cyberattack is also known as eavesdropping as it does the same thing-gathering data from a private source or conversation without getting their consent.  

Online hackers who utilise this type of malware will steal all valuable information from your device without you even noticing it—or not until you get a notification that you have a long list of online transactions or subscriptions from different websites. 


Protect yourself from cyberattacks 

While thieves try to make themselves transparent, you can keep an eye out to make sure you’re not being attacked. Here are some precautionary measures that can save you from falling victim to their attack:  


Ignore suspicious messages 

Whether for personal or business use, email is one of the most popular platforms for communication over a network. This is also a favourite place for hackers to plot in their traps. 

Email hijacking is a sort of MITM wherein internet hackers attempt to gain access and completely control your personal email. Once they have your valuable information, the hackers will try to manipulate your accounts, including login credentials and bank details to make unnecessary transactions.  

Secure online safety 

Strong cybersecurity and a proper understanding of the risks of engaging with online thieves are your best defences against any type of online threat. Today, hackers continue to evolve new tactics, making it more difficult to monitor your data security on your own.. A managed IT solution can assist in delivering end-to-end encryption, making it more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal your data.  

Encrypt internet connection  

Before giving away your credentials and other valuable details online, you should make sure that your data communication is encrypted. By doing so, you are also preventing other parties from seeing the information that you’ve submitted.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) allows you to safely visit and transfer information to a certain page online. On some websites, HTTPS is marked differently, so you might see a padlock instead. The possible damage caused by MITM is terrifying, but practising preventative actions listed above will protect you and your data. 


Securing online data with Geelong Technology Group

Geelong Technology Group provides a comprehensive cyber security service including regular phishing simulations that use an advanced tracking engine to report unsafe links and suspicious pages so you can minimise the risk of MITM activity before it could happen.  

If you wish to have a cyber security checkup and completely disconnect from the cyber thieves online, don’t hesitate to contact our experienced IT professionals. Call 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) to learn more about our cybersecurity training program for small businesses.    

5 Tips to Strengthen Your Business’ Cybersecurity

5 Tips to Strengthen Your Business’ Cybersecurity

Data management cybersecurity is vital. Company data involves sensitive and confidential records for the organisation, clients and potential customers. A breach of this information has consequences, including financial losses, reputational damage, and the risk of upholding customers’ trust.  


Hackers are just around the corner 

In a nutshell, cybersecurity, or IT security, plays an important role in every business. It protects the organisation and employees from cyber threats such as hacking, malicious software, and ransomware attacks. These days, hackers have also changed their approach, increasingly targeting staff & exploiting human error. Make sure to protect your people so they won’t be the next target of cyber scam victims.  


Cybersecurity training for businesses 

Allowing your employees to identify common cyber threats by conducting regular cybersecurity awareness training will help not just the people in the organization but the business in the long run.  


Update your anti-virus protection 

Make sure your business gadgets are regularly checked and that you have a reliable anti-virus program installed. Consider partnering with an experienced IT team that provides cybersecurity solutions in the digital realm. 


Implement strong Password management 

Encourage your employees to have strong and unique passwords to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data, financial information, or personal details associated with other accounts. Passwords should be changed regularly and be two-factor enabled.  


Data backups & cloud storage solutions 

Backing up business data on a regular basis is a must, especially if your information is confidential. A secure cloud storage service can be of great assistance in ensuring that your data isn’t going anywhere in case of loss due to cyberattacks or natural incidents.  


IT security professionals 

At Geelong Technology, we build IT systems that suit your application by sourcing high-quality components from these reputable manufacturers:  

Take the first step to protect your businessContact Geelong’s cybersecurity experts 

Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing effort. Stay informed about emerging threats and evolving best practices to continuously improve your defences. Consider working with trusted IT experts in Geelong that can offer you a complete security awareness solution to test, train, measure, and reduce human risk. Contact Geelong Technology Group on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) to make sure your business is secure. 

Cyber attack Geelong Technology Group

Five steps to take following a cyber attack

The idea of a data breach can feel almost inevitable these days. Even if your business has crossed all of its security t’s and dotted all of its training i’s, cybercriminals are still finding new ways to attack and infiltrate SMBs. A successful cyber attack can be catastrophic for businesses unprepared for the fallout. So, getting your response right if a breach does occur is imperative. 

 If you believe your business has been caught up in a cyber attack, our top advice is to stay calm but act quickly. The quicker you act, the more likely you’ll be able to avoid disaster. Having (and practicing) a comprehensive incident response (IR) plan is, therefore vital. 

 Following are five steps your business should plan to take in the event of a cybersecurity breach. 

Gather information

The first – and possibly most important – step in responding to a data breach is to gather information. This will involve determining the type of cyber attack and what has been compromised. Was the breach caused by human error, malware, an open port in the firewall, or outdated business or antivirus software? Which systems or devices have been breached? Has your business been breached at all (remembering that it is not uncommon for scammers to claim that your accounts have been compromised in an attempt to steal information)? 

Contain the situation 

Once you have determined the nature and scale of the cyber attack, you can then prevent its spread by isolating compromised endpoints and assets. Containment will involve stopping data leakage, removing the hacker and patching the system, as well as keeping evidence of the breach for reporting purposes. The goal at this point is to limit the scope of the breach and prevent further damage. 

Notify affected parties 

After containing the situation, the next step is to notify the affected parties. This may include employees, customers, and other stakeholders. The notification should be timely and transparent, providing details on what has happened and what steps are being taken to address the situation. The notification should also include instructions for affected parties to protect themselves from any potential harm. It is absolutely vital that you understand your legal requirements and the situations that require mandatory data-breach notification in Australia. Ensure this information is part of your IR plan so that you are not scrambling for details during a crisis. 

Perform damage assessments 

Once the situation has been contained and affected parties have been notified, the next step is to assess the damage. The IT department – or an external IT contractor – should perform a thorough analysis of the data that was compromised and determine the potential impact on the business. This analysis will help inform the next steps in minimising the damage and protecting the business from future attacks. 

Increase security measures 

A data breach can be a crippling event for a business. However, it can also provide an opportunity to interrogate and strengthen your cybersecurity defences. With damage assessment complete, your IT professionals can identify and fix vulnerabilities in the system. This includes changing all passwords, patching software, updating security protocols, and enhancing network security. Post-breach security measures can also involve ongoing penetration testing, vulnerability scanning and other techniques to identify any remaining weaknesses in the system. And don’t forget that weaknesses can also include human errors. Ensure your employees undergo regular, ongoing data-security training and advise them on best-practice measures to protect their email accounts and passwords from compromise. 

Contact Geelong’s data security specialists 

If you suspect your business has suffered a data breach, or you wish to get ahead of the ball with a comprehensive incident response plan, Geelong Technology Group are here to help. Remember that prevention is the cheapest and easiest option when it comes to cybersecurity.  

 Included in our managed IT services are network security solutions tailored to your business needs. We can also assist with infrastructure assessment and IR plan implementation, so give us a call to discuss your cybersecurity and IT requirements. 

 Geelong Technology Group – servicing Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, Golden Plains, Colac, Warrnambool and beyond. Call ☎️1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484). 

reduce the cost of a data breach with Geelong Technology Group

Cybersecurity: How your business can reduce the cost of a data breach

In an ideal world, there would be no such thing as a data breach. Try as they might, cybercriminals would be thwarted by your business’ up-to-date cybersecurity strategies, your cybersecurity awareness training and your plugging of all possible cybersecurity holes.

Of course, unfortunately, cyberattacks and data breaches still occur. This isn’t to say that employing the best possible cybersecurity measures isn’t a great idea. It is. But planning should go beyond prevention to mitigation, should the unthinkable occur.

Effects of a cyber-attack and data breach

The effects of a successful cyber-attack can be catastrophic, particularly for SMBs unprepared for this event. The consequences of a breach can be not only financial, affecting your bottom line (as well as causing downtime, loss of productivity and decreased morale), but also impact your business reputation, reducing trust in your company name. A successful data breach can also leave your business open to legal liabilities.

How to prevent and mitigate cyber attacks

Prevention is, of course, preferable to mitigation. Making cybersecurity an ongoing process is the best way to not only reduce the likelihood of an attack, but may also reduce the damage should an attack occur:

  • Ensure you have a comprehensive cybersecurity plan
  • Keep software updated with the latest security patches
  • Use best-in-class antivirus software
  • Secure devices from hackers with firewalls, complex passwords and multi-factor authentication
  • Educate your employees about the risk of cyberattacks with training and ongoing support

How to reduce the impact of a data breach

The best way to reduce the impact of a data breach is to be 100% ready to contain it. This means not only having a comprehensive incident response (IR) plan, but also practicing it. Having a practised IR plan reduces the cost of a data breach. You and your employees will have a set of instructions should any cybersecurity incident occur, and containment will be a well-rehearsed step-by-step process. (Not a chicken-with-its-head-cut-off chaos!)

Using the right security tools can also reduce the impact of a cybersecurity incident. Tools such as advanced threat protection (ATP) deploy security AI and automate the response to any threats detected (quarantining potentially malicious files, for instance). Using a hybrid cloud approach may also lessen the impact of a breach, offering agility and flexibility should you need to pivot your business following an attack. 

Small businesses must be ready for cyberattacks – contact Geelong’s cybersecurity experts for help

For many small business owners, the threat of a cyberattack may seem remote. Thinking you’re not a target, however, is a huge mistake. Cybercriminals will often attack the weakest targets. And often, the weakest targets are small businesses whose cybersecurity measures are not up to scratch.

Now is the time to review your defences, boost your security and create mitigation plans. For assistance with a multifaceted solution that involves infrastructure assessment, awareness training, cybersecurity measures and IR plan implementation, give Geelong Technology Group a call.

We service Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, Golden Plains, Colac, Warrnambool and beyond, so get in contact today!

reply chain email attacks

What are reply chain email attacks?

Remember those chain letters you used to receive that promised untold wealth if you sent the required copies, and untold terror if you didn’t? Well, other than being similarly aggravating, reply-chain email attacks aren’t at all like that!

A reply-chain email attack is a form of cyberattack that involves a phishing email tucked inside an ongoing email conversation (your ‘reply chain’). While typical phishing attacks attempt to parody a sender with a forged address, this more sophisticated attack hijacks a legitimate email correspondence chain and inserts a phishing email into the existing email conversation.

How do email reply chain cyber attacks work?

This technique, also known as ‘reply-chain phishing’ or ‘thread hijack spamming’, begins with hackers (using various methods) gaining access to one or more email accounts within an organisation. Once they’re ‘in’, cybercriminals can begin monitoring conversation threads for opportunities to infiltrate ongoing chains of conversation with ransomware/malware or links to a form to steal more login credentials.

Why are reply chain attacks so dangerous?

This sophisticated form of cyberattack works particularly well because:

  • The attacker can read a conversation trail and more convincingly pose as a member of the email chain, referencing items in the discussion and calling others by name.
  • The reply in the thread comes from a colleague’s email address – likely a co-worker that the email recipients know and trust, and who has previously been participating in the email conversation. 
  • Employees are not expecting malicious activity embedded in the middle of an ongoing discussion; their normal ‘phishing radar’ is not necessarily operative.  

How can you protect against reply chain phishing?

Best practice?

Firstly, ensure there is no re-use of passwords within your business. All accounts should have unique (strong!) passwords and should ideally be backed by multi-factor authentication

Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, your employees need to be brought up to cyber-secure speed with regular, ongoing awareness training. Your staff should be trained to treat any email – even those within ongoing chains – with caution, particularly if they’re furnished with links or attachments. Your security training can also include the mandated use of other internal communication platforms – such as Slack or Microsoft Teams – to check the legitimacy of any emails that seem suspect.

How strong are your email account protections?

Remember, it can take businesses months or even years to recover from a successful cyberattack. You do not want your business to become a phishing statistic! If you’re not 100% certain that you have enough protection in place on your business email accounts to prevent a breach, please give us a call! Geelong Technology Group can provide email cybersecurity solutions that can keep you – and your sensitive business data – better protected.

Give us a call to find out more on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or stop by our showroom at 166 Francis St, Belmont.

cybersecurity awareness training

Cybersecurity awareness training: how often is often enough?

You’ve finally put together a gun team. Everyone is firing on all cylinders, despite the stress and upheavals of the past few years. The very last thing you need is one of your employees falling for a phishing attack that results in a costly ransomware infection. But how often should you be implementing cybersecurity awareness and phishing training? Is there a golden training window that will keep your staff alert but not alarmed?

Phishing training every four months

Research has shown that the cybersecurity training sweet spot is once every four months. Any sooner and you’ll be rehashing information that your staff already know – a loss of efficiency. Too much later and the ability to detect phishing emails, mastered through initial training, begins to wane – a possible loss of much more.

Why ongoing cybersecurity training is important

Looking at cybersecurity training as a set-and-forget option is no option at all. As we noted in our recent blog about the possible cybersecurity mistakes businesses can make, developing a sustainable company culture of good cybersecurity is one of the strongest ways to protect your business assets and data. A good employee training program that focuses on everyday ‘cyber hygiene’ will instil confidence in your staff that they know what to look for and what your company’s cybersecurity protocols and procedures require. Well-trained employees significantly reduce a company’s risk – and routine training reinforcement will reduce that risk even more. Regular training is also good for staff morale and mental health: more knowledge = individual empowerment = a lower likelihood of making mistakes = less stress.

Effective cybersecurity training

Successful cybersecurity training will target your employee’s habits and behaviours, creating a sense of accountability and ensuring they make the right decision when it comes to protecting sensitive corporate information and assets. No longer just your employees, cyber-aware staff members become your company’s first line of defence against cyberattacks. Effective training should include:


  • The various types of cybersecurity threats, particularly those that utilise social engineering as a means of bypassing tech-based defences
  • The significance of password security
  • Your company’s internet, email and social media policies
  • Your company’s policies on the protection of business data
  • Methods to not only identify threats but also to report them (the last thing you want is possible cybersecurity threats swept under the metaphorical rug)

Contact the Geelong cybersecurity specialists

Cybercriminals are getting smarter and sneakier every day – we may no longer fall for an email from a dispossessed African prince, but we may fail to look twice at a slightly odd request from the company CFO. Even the strongest security safeguards will fail if users are not cyber-aware, so now is the time to embed cyber-resilience throughout your organisation. 


Servicing Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast and surrounding regions, Geelong Technology Group helps small and medium businesses succeed by supporting and managing their IT needs. Armed with the latest cybersecurity information, we can not only assist your business with security awareness, but we can also implement comprehensive cybersecurity solutions, ensuring your important business data is cyber secure.

Give us a call today to find out more on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484) or stop by our showroom at 166 Francis St, Belmont.


Current phishing trends that may impact YOUR cybersecurity

When it comes to phishing in 2022, cybercriminals continue to target people more than tech infrastructure. That is, ‘pirates’, using social engineering, are probing for weaknesses in our defences, rather than in our cybersecurity defences. After all, it’s easier to get someone to open the 6ft gate than to find a way to climb over it or punch through it. Which brings us to our first major 2022 phishing trend:

Help Ukraine, Help the people, Help the children.

As insidious as this is, phishing and cryptocurrency scams are using the Russian invasion of Ukraine to their advantage. Indeed, as 2020 was to Covid phishing scams, 2022 is to the Ukrainian conflict, with new cyber threats popping up daily that pull on heartstrings to collect donations, data and/or cryptocurrency from victims. Look out for email subject lines such as ‘Support Ukrainian Children’ or ‘Ukraine donations desperately needed.’ (And only ever donate to organisations that you have confirmed are 100% legitimate.)

Brand and business impersonation

This form of phishing is increasing not only in scale but also in sophistication. As users become savvier, phishing attackers are using brands or businesses that we know and commonly interact with to create a facade of legitimacy. Users are asked to click on links and provide personal information; including passwords – via emails titled ‘Data breach’, ‘Potential account termination’ or ‘Password reset required’. And these emails are (allegedly) coming from the likes of Microsoft, LinkedIn and Amazon. Always be suspicious of emails that link you to a site requesting for your log-in and other details. Never provide your credentials via such a link. 

Tax season scams

Tax season: time to buy some last-minute office equipment (or some top-tier business tech!), worry about the shoebox of receipts and fend off tax-season scams. The main thing to remember when it comes to tax time is that the ATO will never ask for personal information by email or text. (And they’ll never call you with a doom-laden message threatening arrest or jail time, either.) Any such message – requesting your tax file number or credit card details – can be disregarded as cyber fraud.

And remember: clicking such a link can also lead to disaster; potentially allowing scammers access to your computer system and then holding you or your business to ransom. If in any doubt: DELETE.

The ATO also has a regularly updated list of scams if you need to verify or report a problem.

Contact Geelong’s cybersecurity experts to reduce your risk of being scammed

At Geelong Technology Group, we’re kind of enthralled by scammers. (They’re always doing something new! Smishing attempts keep proliferating! They’re getting tricksier!) And we keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats. But what we really love is helping homes and businesses in Geelong, Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads, Torquay, the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast, Golden Plains, Colac and Warrnambool with their online security. We’re here to help with our anti-piracy solutions and cyber-attack prevention services, so don’t hesitate to contact us today on 1300 GET GTG (1300 438 484). Or drop by to chat with the team at 166 Francis Street, Belmont.


Cybersecurity and the Essential Eight

Although it may sound like a bulked-up bedtime story (remember The Famous Five?!) or a Tarantino flick, the Essential Eight is instead a list of eight essential strategies for Australian businesses to mitigate cybersecurity incidents. The Australian Government, in conjunction with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), has created this security to-do list to help businesses and organisations avoid the – sometimes catastrophic – fallout that can occur following a targeted cyber attack.

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