What is an information technology risk?
If your business relies on information technology (IT) systems such as computers and networks for key business activities you need to be aware of the range and nature of risks to those systems.
General IT threats
General threats to IT systems and data include:
- hardware and software failure - such as power loss or data corruption
- malware - malicious software designed to disrupt computer operation
- viruses - computer code that can copy itself and spread from one computer to another, often disrupting computer operations
- spam, scams and phishing - unsolicited email that seeks to fool people into revealing personal details or buying fraudulent goods
- human error - incorrect data processing, careless data disposal, or accidental opening of infected email attachments.
Read more about email scams, viruses, hackers, and other IT threats.
Criminal IT threats
Specific or targeted criminal threats to IT systems and data include:
- hackers - people who illegally break into computer systems
- fraud - using a computer to alter data for illegal benefit
- passwords theft - often a target for malicious hackers
- denial-of-service - online attacks that prevent website access for authorised users
- security breaches - includes physical break-ins as well as online intrusion
- staff dishonesty - theft of data or sensitive information, such as customer details.
Read more about online crimes against business.
Learn more about protecting your website from hackers.
Natural disasters and IT systems
Natural disasters such as fire, cyclone and floods also present risks to IT systems, data and infrastructure. Damage to buildings and computer hardware can result in loss or corruption of customer records/transactions.
Read more about preparing for and recovering from natural disasters and business continuity planning.
- Learn about resources to improve the cybersecurity of your business.
- Find out more about protecting IT data and systems.
- Read our cyclone and storm surge preparation checklist.
- Read our bushfire preparation checklist.
- Find out how to create a digital strategy for your business.
- Learn more about electrical safety in the workplace.