The last 12 months has marked a new era for cybersecurity awareness, education and proactive security strategy implementation across Australia.
As several brand name organisations suffered cyber-attacks adversely impacting business operations and damaging customer confidence and credibility the ransomware attacks against Optus and Medibank last year marked a major turning point for cyber security in Australia.
Labelled as the two most severe cyber-attacks ever launched against Australian organisations, the impacts of these attacked are still being felt, both by customers and the businesses themselves which are grappling with legal and regulatory repercussions of more than 10 million customers being compromised.
The public shock and outcry that ensued also elevated cyber security to a Federal Government issue, with the Albanese government launching the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy in December 2022.
This strategy sets out a number of priority areas spanning whole of nation cyber security, increasing sovereign capabilities, protecting critical infrastructure and boosting cyber security skills.
Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, the Hon. Clare O’Neil said the following at the time of the announcement, “Australians have recently suffered two of the worst data breaches in our nation’s history,”
“We must work together to counter these threats, build partnerships and set ourselves up for success.”
A key pillar of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy would be the ‘Expert Advisory Board’ on cyber security, picked by O’Neil, and made up of some of the Australia tech industry’s heaviest hitters, including former Telstra CEO, Andy Penn who will serve as its first chair.
“Industry clearly has to do better in protecting customer data and implementing cyber security best practice and Government must lead by example and demonstrate its own commitment to hardening government systems and defending against cyber threats,” Penn said on accepting his new role.
“The new Cyber Security Strategy needs to address how everyone can do their part to make Australia more cyber resilient.”
O’Neil also released a discussion paper to canvass new laws and seek views from industry on how to streamline current legislation and policy. The paper is also seeking answers to the role governments should play in improving Australia’s cyber resilience.
There are 21 questions in the paper, including whether payment of ransoms and extortion demands by cyber criminals should be banned; the scope of the powers of intelligence agencies to intervene; and whether a standalone Cyber Security Act should be considered.
Finding good people
Salaries for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and other professionals in this space have skyrocketed over recent years, underscoring the desperate need for good people capable of fighting the rising threats.
But it also underscores the growing need for capable cyber security and network security providers, which can help companies immediately fill any gaps as they work to bolster their internal capabilities.
Because cyber security today is about a lot more than simply choosing and then deploying a particular technology or set of technologies and then hoping for the best that the perimeters have been secured.
The rise of the so-called edge means that traditional cyber security approaches are no longer effective. And the traditional modes of
The popularity of remote working, and with it the increased reliance on cloud platforms and applications have changed the game for all organsations and their IT teams.
Everything from network configuration, to identity management and authentication, cloud access, security and credential management needs to be approached within a new framework.
Today’s threat landscape is changing fast, with fast evolving organised crime networks deploying and refining new and ever more damaging threat vectors every day.
At the same time, businesses are more reliant on digital platforms and massive volumes of data than ever before. All the while, public and legal scrutiny of their ability to handle them intensifies along with the penalties for failure.
The impacts of cyber breaches are now a boardroom issue and one of the top priorities for organisations and their IT teams who have a focus to improve their security posture to ensure protection of all data, staff, customers and suppliers from the impacts of cyber threats and breaches.
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