CyberCrime Article Aisa Insurance Review
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Australia: Cyber crime costs economy more than US$700 mln a year

Source: eDaily | 31 Jul 2015

Cyber crime in Australia is estimated to be costing the economy more than A$1 billion (US$730 million) a year, according to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Threat Report released this week. Cyber attacks in the country have tripled in three years from 313 in 2011 to 1131 last year

The report, which is the first ever to detail to the public the national cyber threat,  says the primary targets of such attacks are banking systems, energy providers and the communications sector.

The report said: “Although it is difficult to establish an accurate figure for the cost of cybercrime in Australia, an October 2013 industry estimate put the cost over the previous 12 months at A$1 billion. This is likely to be an underestimation as it is based on adult individuals affected and does not include the cost to business and government.”

The ACSC predicts the following trends to manifest globally in the near future:

  • The number of state and cyber criminals with capability will increase. ? Due to the limited number of quality software developers, cybercrime-as-a-service is likely to increase, reducing the barriers for entry for cyber criminals.
  • The sophistication of the current cyber adversaries will increase, making detection and response more difficult.
  • Spear phishing will continue to be popular with adversaries, and the use of watering-hole techniques will increase.
  • Ransomware will continue to be prominent.
  • There will be an increase in the number of cyber adversaries with a destructive capability and, possibly, the number of incidents with a destructive element.
  • There will be an increase in electronic graffiti, such as web defacements and social media hijacking, which is designed to grab a headline.

ACSC said that effective cyber security requires a partnership between government and the private sector, with organisations and their users taking greater responsibility for the security of their networks and information.

Insurers respond

In resppnse to the threat report, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) said that business could no longer ignore the threat,

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.

“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 ransomware 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.

Mr Whelan said a range of products were available from insurers or through insurance brokers that enabled businesses to mitigate financial losses caused by cybercrime.

The ICA continually liaises with all Australian police forces to keep abreast of the latest trends in crime and criminal activity.


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