How Australian CEOs Can Address Cybersecurity Issues

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What keeps Australian CEOs awake at night? This question is asked in the context of the recent happenings in the Australian business landscape related to cybersecurity. Yes, the Optus telco hack has prodded everyone to get up and smell the coffee. If cybersecurity was not among the triage of activities that Australian CEOs mulled earlier, now the situation has altered drastically. No business can be complacent with leveraging cybersecurity consulting anymore, for the recent disclosures on data breaches are enough to rattle the business world.

It appears Optus was just the tip of the iceberg, for subsequent disclosures on data leaks associated with Costa Group, Medibank, and MyDeal show the rot runs deep. And if these are not enough, then many incidences seem to go underreported. Bottomline, businesses need to get to grips with the menace, and can only ignore it at their peril.

Cybersecurity Threats Are Real

According to the CEO of National Australia Bank Ross McEwan, every month the bank faces cyber attacks of more than 50 million (600 million a year) across its digital channels. Thankfully, the bank’s security systems thwart such attacks but are they enough and for how long? Whether the Optus hackers were rank amateurs or professionals, the incident revealed that threats related to cybersecurity are real. And it’s about time the CEOs got to grips with the problem and shored up their defences.

To put the proverbial cat among the pigeons, Wayne Byers, the chairman of Australia’s Prudential Regulator told a parliamentary committee “Financial institutions, at least in a broader context, are quite advanced (in cybersecurity) but what we also know is that, at some point, some sort of event will happen. It doesn’t matter what sort of defences you’ve put in place.” Now that’s scary. Period.

Fortify Cybersecurity Measures

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated and enhance their ability to strike at IT systems at will, businesses must be on guard at all times by fortifying their defences. However, their reluctance to admit being scammed, hacked, or conned is a matter of concern. Their argument about coming clean on data breaches could negatively impact their market share and profitability fly in the face of demands for greater transparency. So, how do businesses handle the situation? What should they do so that they don’t end up being the next Optus or MyDeal? Let us find out in the below-mentioned segment.

How to Mitigate or Manage Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity threats are real and becoming more sophisticated, frequent, challenging, and damaging. The only way businesses can deal with them is by fortifying the defences of their systems using the below-mentioned measures.

Cybersecurity Risk Management: No IT system is immune to cyber attacks, so it is critical for the management of businesses to conduct risk management audit periodically. It will help them determine, assess, respond, and mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities inherent in the system. Further, it will help them implement effective control frameworks and comply with regulatory standards to manage threats in real-time. It will generate confidence among clients, end-users, and employees about the ability of the system to manage risks. Businesses should hire accredited cybersecurity support services such as Cybernetic Global intelligence to oversee the implementation of cybersecurity measures.

PCI Compliance: This is important for eCommerce companies to adhere to and avoid liability in cases of a data breach. With PCI compliance, businesses can assure stakeholders, including customers, that their personal information is adequately protected. Here again, businesses need an experienced PCI-qualified security assessor to recommend best practices, monitor and test networks, and provide guidance on maintaining firewalls, anti-virus software, and intrusion detection systems. These measures would help prevent incidences of credit card fraud, and other types of cybercrime, which otherwise could invite a flurry of lawsuits and lead to a loss of reputation.

Red Team Assessment and Testing: How do businesses check whether their systems are vulnerable to cyber-attacks? It can be done by conducting real-world attack simulations. Here, white hat hackers attack the business’s IT infrastructure and try to cause data breaches like a real hacker would do. In fact, red team testing from certified cyber security firms such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence can help detect vulnerabilities and implement security controls. It enhances the efficacy of the IT network of businesses.


Australian CEOs need to be worried about the growing menace of cybercrime, and how it can negatively impact customer trust and brand reputation. Shoring up cybersecurity defences using in-house resources or hiring experienced and accredited cybersecurity companies such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence can help secure their critical assets, customer information, and brand equity.

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