Cybercrime has spread like wildfire across the entire global digital landscape. The sophistication and skullduggery used by cybercriminals to break into IT systems and cause data breaches are astounding. Although no country is immune from this threat, irrespective of their level of development, Australia has earned a dubious distinction. It has become the most hacked nation in the world. According to Surfshark, a VPN provider, Australia has the highest rate of data breaches in the world, with about 7,387 user accounts being hacked out of a total of 100,000. Russia comes in a distant second at 2,568 per 100,000 user accounts.
Interestingly, global data breaches seem to have been reduced by 70.8 percent between October and November 2022, as per Agneska Sablovskaja, the Surfshark lead researcher. On the other hand, Australia does not seem to follow this trend. The country has witnessed a surge in data breaches of 1550 percent, that is, from 107,659 in October to 1,776,065 in November. The overwhelmingly high figures for data breaches are largely attributed to the incidents at Optus and Medibank. The Medibank breach led to the exposure of about 1.8 million email accounts, thereby making it the second largest data breach in Australia.
The above cases of data breaches have led the Australian government to pass legislation. According to it, penalties have been increased for companies that fail to protect their data. The penalties for serious or repeated breaches have been increased to $50 million AUD (from $2.2 million AUD). Also, companies faced with such data breaches will be fined 30 percent of their adjusted turnover for the period. To make companies facing data breaches more accountable, the legislation has imposed a penalty of three times the amount gained from the misuse of data in shocking data breaches.
The Australian Minister for Cybersecurity, Claire O’Neil, has created a 100-strong cybersecurity task force to “hack the hackers” and make Australia a hostile environment for cybercriminals. According to Ravin Prasad, CEO of Cybernetic Global Intelligence, a global accredited cybersecurity organisation, given the stringent penalties imposed by the Australian government for companies that do not take cybersecurity seriously, there is no other way for Australian businesses but to strengthen their IT infrastructure. Remember, any data breach can bring down the trust of the company or entity in the eyes of the users and the market at large. People will think twice before investing in that company or entity in any capacity. Hence, to safeguard the IT infrastructure of such companies against such an eventuality, they need to implement cybersecurity measures as described below.
Cybersecurity Measures Needed to Safeguard Companies from Threat Actors
Cybersecurity has become the top priority for businesses of all sizes, domains, and locations. Cybercriminals are constantly developing new and sophisticated ways to attack businesses, so it is important for the latter to have a strong cybersecurity strategy in place.
There are a number of things that businesses in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia Pacific Region can do to improve their cybersecurity posture, as mentioned below:
Enhancing security measures: These include implementing strong passwords, using multi-factor authentication, and keeping software up-to-date.
Addressing vulnerabilities: Businesses should regularly scan their networks for vulnerabilities and patch any known security holes.
Providing workforce training: Employees should be trained on how to identify and report phishing emails, social engineering attacks, and other cybersecurity threats.
Adhering to industry regulations: Businesses should comply with all applicable industry regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
If a business does not have the resources or expertise to implement and maintain a strong cybersecurity programme, it may be beneficial to hire a cybersecurity company, such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence. It is a globally accredited cybersecurity firm that can help businesses improve their cybersecurity architecture and remediate incidents of cybercrime. The variety of services offered by Cybernetic Global Intelligence are as follows:
Managed security services: Provide 24/7 monitoring and threat analysis to help businesses detect and respond to cybersecurity threats.
ISO 27001 certification: The cybersecurity firm helps businesses achieve ISO 27001 certification, which is an internationally recognised standard for information security management.
Risk assessments and security audits: Lead to the identification and mitigation of known cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities.
Red team testing: Involves simulating a cyberattack and identifying weaknesses in a business’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
PCI compliance consulting: Helps businesses achieve PCI compliance, which is a requirement for businesses that accept credit cards.
Penetration testing: Helps to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities that could be exploited by cybercriminals.
Australia has earned the dubious distinction of being the world’s most hacked nation. This has happened due to inadequate or sometimes non-existent cybersecurity measures in various Australian companies, irrespective of size and vertical. The large data breach incidents in the last few years have prompted the Australian government to pass far-reaching and consequential legislation on cybersecurity.
As per Ravin Prasad, CEO of Cybernetic Global Intelligence, businesses now have no other recourse but to strengthen their cybersecurity posture. They can do so by hiring the services of one of the top cybersecurity companies, such as Cybernetic Global Intelligence. For further information on ways to protect your business from potential cybersecurity threats, contact 1300 292 376 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.