Cyber-crime can no longer be dismissed as someone else’s problem: incidents have increased by 20% in the last year alone, costing Australia over $1 billion a year, and hitting key industries, including banks, energy providers and communications providers.
Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) data shows a dramatic increase in the rate of cyber security attacks in Australia, growing from just 313 attacks in 2011 to 1131 last year, with no signs of slowing.
ACSC coordinator and Australian Signals Directorate Deputy Director, Clive Lines, says the current level of cyber threat in Australia is “undeniable, unrelenting and continues to grow”.
Insurance Council of Australia’s (ICA) CEO Rob Whelan said though the insurance industry had been working with law enforcement agencies for many years to address the issue, the broader Australian business community had been slow to recognise the scale of the potential threat – a threat that was evolving daily.
“Australian business can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to cybercrime… Business owners are urged to undertake a detailed risk assessment of potential vulnerabilities and liabilities and to take action to ensure appropriate protection is in place,” Mr Whelan said.
“One example of significant threat is the ACSC’s recent warning that a new wave of ransom-ware emails are targeting Australian government and private-sector enterprises in the guise of emails purporting to be from Australia Post parcel collection and also Australian Federal Police infringement notices.
“The ACSC warned the sheer scale of the attack and the continual use of new domains by the hackers has reduced the effectiveness of domain-blocking as a long-term solution. Once executed, this ransom-ware encrypts the users’ files, including those on networked or shared drives used in the corporate environment, making them inaccessible to the user.”
In the wake of this upsurge, businesses of all sizes should inform themselves of cyber-crime risks: a small amount of vigilance and preparedness can lead to dramatic savings in the future.