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.

Find out more about cyber security and protecting your online business activity.

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.

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.

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.

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