Five tips to help protect your farm data
11 March 2021
Producers and small businesses across Australia’s red meat and livestock industry can protect their data from common cyber-attacks with a new, easy-to-read guide about cyber security, that’s available to download for free.
Integrity Systems Company (ISC) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) developed A guide to protecting your farm data and information to help producers and small businesses understand and implement cyber security measures.
The guide provides clear explanations and advice on a range of topics including:
- backing up data
- keeping your mobile phone and tablets safe
- avoiding phishing attacks
- training employees to prevent a cyber-attack
- understanding terms and conditions of data use.
To help you get started, here are five simple steps that producers and businesses can take right now to ensure their online information and data remains secure:
1. Back up your data
Creating a copy (a back-up) of your important business data is essential to make sure it can be recovered in case it is deleted or corrupted.
Your back-up should be stored in a separate location to the original data. It is recommended that you store your back-up on a cloud service provider or if that’s not possible, on a secure external hard drive or computer.
Backing up your data frequently is strongly advised.
2. Use passwords to protect your data
For each platform or website you use for your business, you should have a different password that uses a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
Don’t use your name or date of birth as a password and don’t keep the default password given to you as your password. You can use a password manager to keep track of all your different passwords.
3. Protect your data from malware and ransomware
Malicious software (malware) is software or web content that attempts to gain access to your data in order to view data, monitor activity, or steal personal information such as credit card numbers or passwords. Ransomware is a form of malware which encrypts your files and demands payment from the victim to restore access to their data.
To protect your business from malware and ransomware, you should install antivirus software and a firewall on all computers and laptops used in your operations. You should discourage staff from installing applications from suspicious sites onto any devices or computers used in the business and limit the use of USB drives in your work.
4. Keep your mobile device safe
Keep data on your mobile device secure by turning on password protection. It is also recommended that you switch on automatic system and app updates on your device to ensure critical security updates are made to protect your device from a cyber-attack.
5. Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) provides an additional layer of security that prevents unauthorised users from accessing your data. Whenever possible, opt to turn on 2FA on your devices and on all work and personal systems to minimise the chances of a data breach.
For more helpful information, click here to download a copy of the 24-page A guide to protecting your farm data and information.