Cyber Insights: Follow Venture’s views on the latest cyber secu [...]

Venture Insights

Survey highlights the importance of cyber security for SMBs

Venture Insights has released a report on the importance of using technology across business operations and cyber security concerns facing SMBs. We highlighted that as there is a shift towards remote working during the COVID-19 crisis, having a remote working plan, particularly around cybersecurity, is very important for both operating efficiency and business continuity.

Working from home also introduces additional challenges regarding cybersecurity. As mentioned in the report, SMBs found cybersecurity to be critical to their business’s future success with technology. The majority of SMBs believe their business’ cybersecurity readiness is above average. However, further analysis of the survey responses indicated that SMBs need to be more cautious about their cybersecurity readiness.

Furthermore, we also recommended three basic steps every SMB should undertake to re-evaluate how they connect with customers and operate efficiently.

Venture Insights

Survey highlights the improvement of home cyber security

Venture Insights has released a report based on a behavioural change survey conducted by Venture Insights and commissioned by Chorus. We highlighted that a majority (60%) of the respondents had not made any improvements in the home internet setup. Among those who had made improvements, 9% of respondents have improved home cyber security such as wifi and computer passwords.

Of the respondents who had faced problems with their home setup, 14% faced issues with cyber security. Over half of these problems were solved.

Enders Analysis

UK Huawei ban – Counting the cost

Venture Insights’ UK partner, Enders Analysis has released a report on the cost of banning Huawei equipment, which would have a long term impact on the UK operators and their customers. Enders Analysis highlighted that the direct ‘tear-out’ and replacement costs for mobile would be very high at up to £2bn, and there would be significant disruption to 5G roll-outs as operators’ focus moves to replacing what they already have as opposed to pushing into new coverage areas.

Furthermore, the time and effort required to replace existing Huawei equipment would be very burdensome, particularly as Openreach is looking to accelerate full fibre roll-out. The overall cost could be up to £1bn (heavily depending on the mandated timing), and the delay to full fibre roll-out could be years.

It is not yet clear why it is a governmental issue, with the UK government’s own National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) appears to agree, stating in its January 2020 report that “Placing ‘backdoors’ in any Huawei equipment supplied into the UK is not the lowest risk, easiest to perform or most effective means for the Chinese state to perform a major cyber attack on UK telecoms networks today.”

Enders Analysis

India bans Chinese apps – 59 apps removed including TikTok

Venture Insights’ UK partner Enders Analysis has released a report on the Indian government’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps including TikTok. The decision follows deadly border clashes between the 15th and 16th June which left 20 Indian soldiers dead. The ban comes amid heightened protectionism in India’s online and tech industries. The Modi government’s re-election bid in 2019 was built on pledges to ‘put India first’ and support business, a message which resonates with millions of SMEs.

India is TikTok’s biggest international market, accounting for half of all users outside China. Chinese apps made up 38% of all app installs in India last year, second only to domestic apps.

In the medium term, geopolitical tensions, and the official pledge to ensure the “sovereignty of Indian cyberspace”, raise the stakes, making it harder for apps like TikTok to offer concessions and reach an individual settlement.

The India-China rivalry may spill over into more sectors as reports suggest India is reconsidering Huawei’s role in its 5G infrastructure plans. A ban would provide a fillip to US influence in the country

Venture Insights

Survey highlights the improvement of cyber security to WFH spaces

Venture Insights has released a report based on a behavioural change survey conducted by Venture Insights and commissioned by NBN Co. We highlighted how new needs due to COVID-19 had changed consumer to improve their home internet setup, including the purchase of new devices.

Looking at all respondents, 43% of the respondents had created new or dedicated home office space, 26% had improved home cybersecurity such as wifi and computer passwords and 20% had improved home wi-fi setup and/or purchased new routers or wi-fi extenders.

Venture Insights

COVID-19 based cyberattacks and scams and the increase in WFH

Venture Insights has released a report on COVID-19 based cyber attacks where we look at some of the current cyber scams, the shift to working from home and immediate recommendations for businesses with staff working from home. There have been many reports of cyber criminals using the COVID-19 pandemic to trick users into installing cyber viruses, purchasing false products and/or divulging sensitive personal or business information. Given the range of potential impacts that cyber criminals can have on organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic, we highlighted that cyber security must be taken seriously at all levels of the organisations and individuals. Venture Insights has suggested 7 immediate recommendations as checklist for individuals and businesses to managing cybers ecurity risk with staff working from home including: securing home hardware and software, securing Wi-Fi networks, updating passwords, being hyper alert to phishing, sms and phone scams and backing up data. We have also collated six key questions executive managers and boards should be asking and updating on a regular basis. The six key questions are intended as high-level checklist for senior executives to query an organisations approach to managing cyber security risk and taking time to review cyber security preparedness is critical to businesses today.

Venture Insights

Dragos-cyber security company on protecting infrastructure

On 29 January, 2020, Venture Insights attended the Montgomery Innovation Summit presented by March Capital Partners in Melbourne. At a breakout session, our MD Nigel Pugh met with Robert Lee who is the Founder & CEO of Dragos, and previously the former White House “Cyber Czar” and ran defensive and offensive operations at the NSA. Dragos is focused on protecting organisations such as water and electricity utilities and other industrial companies.  Interestingly, their team members have responded to incidents including the Ukraine 2015 power grid attack and performed assessments on hundreds of assets around the world.

Like all countries, Australian utilities and industrial plants are also vulnerable to cyber attacks from a range of criminal and state actors.  As covered in our previous report Cybersecurity and IoT, cyber threats for these type of organisations can can lead to individual or widespread economic loss through delays in business trading or even the loss of life when critical systems are connected.  We will be releasing our Australian Industrial Cyber Security (ICS) report in H1 2020.

Venture Insights

Survey highlights security concerns and opportunities

Venture Insights has released a report on the rise of smart homes where we look at the current state of the smart home market in Australia. We highlighted that consumer privacy was still a major issue for consumers when adopting smart home, with approximately 60% of respondents did not own any smart home devices. Data privacy and trust remain important factors for increasing adoption with global tech giants and Telstra emerging as the most trusted providers for smart home devices. As a product opportunity, the report also highlighted the popularity for security services within the future smart home market . Smart lighting, home security and smart thermostats are expected to be one of the fastest growing segments in the home automation market with a mix of both global (e.g. Google Home and Amazon Alexa) and local players (e.g. Telstra and Optus). They will be in close competition to gain trust of the consumers in the Australian market.

Venture Insights

Cybercrime as a Service

Venture Insights has released a report on the rising costs of cybercrime which is driven by an increase in online devices, more cyberattacks and the impact of cybercrime on organisations and the importance of awareness and preparation at the senior executive and board level. Given the range of potential impacts that a cyber breach can have on organisation, we highlighted that cybersecurity must be taken seriously at all levels of the organisations and individuals. Whilst cybersecurity is a complex area there are basic, business level questions which executive teams should be asking on a regular basis. Venture Insights has collated six key questions executive managers and boards should be asking and updating on a regular basis. The six key questions are intended as high-level checklist for senior executives to query an organisations approach to managing cyber security risk and therefore represents only a starting point for a full and detailed review.

Venture Insights

The rise of IoT and Cyber Security

Venture Insights has released a report on IoT Growth and Cyber Security where we look at how our reliance on IoT devices will increase the risks for individuals and society. From a cybersecurity perspective, the massive increase of IoT devices presents a major increase in attack vectors through which cybercriminals can enter a network or use as bots. Cybercrime presents huge business costs ranging from resolving a cyber breach to dealing with lost data or income which has an immediate impact on organisations. Also, many of our devices are connected using wireless technologies, hackers are supported by a range of hacking toolkits such as WiFi, RFID, Zigbee and Bluetooth. However, there are many measures which can be employed to minimise the cyber security risks of IoT devices. Given the potential threat to individuals and society, cybersecurity must be taken seriously at all level of organisations and individuals. IoT cyber standards and further regulations are needed to be implemented by global standard bodies and governments in order to protect customer and confidential data.

Venture Insights

Cybercrime – The Upside

Venture Insights has released a report on Cybercrime – The Upside where we look at how cyber security disruption is driving opportunities in the Australian market, especially in four key cybersecurity growth areas. The key areas include education and training, managed security solutions, insurance and cyber start-ups. We highlighted that these are global trends which will create competition for Australian resources and that Australia is lagging the US in terms of business demand. This indicates that the rise in cybercrime will also create opportunities and the continuous potential to provide innovation across the sector.

Venture Insights

UBS Australasia Conference 2019: Cyber Security

Venture Insights moderated the Cyber Security panel in the UBS annual Australasia investors conference over 18th and 19th November in Sydney. We highlighted some of the key takeaways from the sessions moderated by Nigel Pugh, Managing Director of Venture Insights on cyber threat to Australian businesses. The cyber security threat is real and affects thousands of small businesses every day. Small businesses face an array of new and increasingly sophisticated threats, including malware attacks, hijacking of WiFi networks, online fraud, phishing and hacking of their cloud storage accounts. The panel further discussed the importance for companies to understand cyber resilience from a growth perspective and how it to impacts the business’ growth rates will outperform on an ROI basis for investors.

Venture Insights

IoT & Cryptocurrency Mining: Cyber Security Update

Venture Insights has released a report on IoT cyber risk and the growth of cryptocurrency mining cybercrime. We highlighted that as the number of IoT devices grow across market segments, and will continue to grow as businesses look for greater cost efficiencies, insights and competitive advantage. However, the risks of cyberbreaches are real and threat actors will constantly look for ways to hack new devices – such as leveraging the growth in cryptocurrency mining. As such, individuals and organisations need to incorporate the IoT awareness into their cyber defence strategies.

Venture Insights

ACCC Digital Platforms Inquiry

Venture Insights has released a report on some of the key highlights and recommendations from the ACCC’s final report and provide our takeaways. The ACCC’s report covers competition law, consumer protection rights, media regulation and privacy law and take into account a range of issues resulting from the growth of digital platforms. One of the key recommendations is to strengthen the protection of Privacy Act which includes broader reform of Australian privacy regime to ensure it continues to effectively protect consumers’ personal information in the light of the increasing volume and scope of data collection in the digital economy. The report will have an impact on the way the tech giants do business in Australia and could lead to higher compliance and regulatory costs. However, while the recommendations will make the tech giants more accountable, we do not expect these measures to alter their increasing dominance of the Australian AdEx market.

Venture Insights

Ad blocking update

Venture Insights has released a report on the current state of ad blocking in Australia, publisher strategies – what’s worked, how are the tech giants responding and risk of regulatory action around user privacy on the broader online advertising ecosystem. We highlighted that tech giants are at risk from ad blockers with billions of dollars of advertising revenue at stake. It therefore make sense for the tech giants to work together with publishers to reduce the impact of ad blockers. But this could bring the tech giants under further scrutiny from regulators across the globe that are investigating the tech giants around privacy, market power and data security.

Enders Analysis

Privacy verdict for UK online advertising

Venture Insights’ UK partner Enders Analysis has released a report on the UK online advertising sector, finding common industry practices unlawful under a strict interpretation of the GDPR and UK privacy law. Enders Analysis highlighted that the Competition and Markets Authority has had under consideration an investigation into the entire online advertising sector, but is hampered by Brexit-related considerations. The EU directive behind PECR is still officially to be replaced by a new EU Regulation, promising to bring the sectoral privacy rules for online communications up to date.

Enders Analysis

GDPR tested on Google, ad tech and Facebook

Venture Insights’ UK research partner, Enders Analysis has released a report on Google, ad tech companies and Facebook challenge prevailing online advertising practices of obtaining user consent under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Enders Analysis highlighted that GDPR allows for each data controller to cite six legal grounds for processing personal data. Three are relevant to commercial companies: user consent; legitimate interest; or necessity for the performance of a contract. The data controller must disclose to the regulator on which ground and why they process personal data, information which must also be communicated to users.