The Prime Minister’s announcement that the Government has assembled a panel of experts to conduct a review of Australia’s cyber security strategy is excellent news for the nation, at a time when cyber-attacks are up 40 percent from 2010 and 70 percent of Australians fear that cyber-attacks are damaging the economy. This review can only be a plus for business and community confidence in the growing digital economy. The digital world has burgeoned as has the risk of cyber-attack since the last review in 2008, so it is definitely time to strengthen our review and compliance frameworks.
Australia has been progressive in the uptake of technology, specifically portable devices, smart phones and tablets. But the increasing volumes of information stored online by businesses coupled with the amount of private and confidential information that people are putting ‘online’ create a perfect storm of opportunity for hackers looking to access confidential and personal information that is often poorly protected by unchanged predictable passwords. This was clearly demonstrated by the recent hack of security cameras and baby monitors – streaming live vision from inside unsuspecting homes to the world.
We expect there will be a thorough review of the capacity and capability of government agencies to detect and respond to cyber threats. Given the level of concern both at the personal and organisational level about the prevalence and nature of these attacks, the volume of information that is being stolen and the reputational damage and economic cost, it is likely that the results of the review will also see changes aimed at minimising those losses and rebuilding the trust that has been lost.
We anticipate the review will provide a security framework that businesses, regardless of size, can look towards as a benchmark to measure themselves against. This will reduce the cost and loss for businesses and will aid in rebuilding trust with other businesses and customers.
Now is the time for us as a nation of early adopters of technology, to take that one step further and understand and act on the potential security threats that come with being a technologically progressive country. But beyond that, and most importantly, we need to make continual enhancements in our approach towards cyber security and not simply pen in another review in six year’s time.
Gary Gill and Mark Tims are respectively National Leaders of KPMG’s Forensic and IT Advisory practices.
In the Australian Cybersecurity is not ‘set and forget‘
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