Dell Software managing director A/NZ, Ian Hodge, has urged Australian companies to step up security and staff education after hackers stole about $1 billion dollars from banks in at least 25 countries.
A cybercriminal gang, which is still active, stole the money after breaking into the banks' networks with malware, spying on staff and then making large wire transfers.
Hodge said the theft was initiated via deceptive phishing attacks by cyber criminals - one of the oldest tricks in the cyber criminal’s repository.
"Phishing attacks are still one of the most popular tools used by cyber criminals and enterprises must put in place processes, policies and technologies to prevent these forms of attacks," he said.
“Next-generation firewalls, for instance, give superior malware protection to companies by examining every bit of each file in the packets of every session at multi-gigabit speeds.
"It would enable IT administrators to know exactly what is coming in and out of the network, as well as block any malicious files trying to ‘phone home’ to install the destructive executable files.
The hackers, named Carbanak after the malware used for heist, have attacked up to 100 banks and e-payment systems since 2013 in 30 countries.
None of the banks have been named although some of the financial institutions impacted are in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Romania, Russia, Brazil, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Switzerland and US.
Hodge said the latest attacks were also a stark reminder to businesses of the importance of educating staff on how to spot and dispose of a phishing email.
"Education still remains a vital part of any businesses multi-layer security," he said.
"Teaching employees to understand the potential risks of from fake downloads, various spam and phishing scams while reminding them that they need to be on high alert at all times, should be embedded into every organisation.
He said businesses needed to be constantly vigilant and aware of threats, and how they might impact their business.
"There is no silver bullet solution or piece of software that will solve all problems," he said.
"It is only by ensuring you take a holistic view to security that threats can be reduced. This comprises of having the right people, policies, software and hardware in place to ensure your organisation is as safe as possible.”