It seems commonplace to read about a cyberattack, or at least the threat of one, on our systems, products and services. With the increase in big data held by governments and businesses, and the upsurge in the internet of things, it would appear that the threat environment evolves too quickly for protection methods to keep up.
Don’t despair though. Keeping Australia safe and maintaining confidence from the wider community is high on the federal government’s agenda.
Recently, the Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, released a consultation paper, entitled Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy, stating the government needs to ‘develop and deliver it [the strategy] in partnership with the Australian community1'. The paper acknowledges that cyber security awareness comes with education and being forewarned to make the right choices. Human error is the most significant weakness in cyberattacks. A successful attack relies on an end-user’s innocence regarding secure online behaviours, such as using one password across multiple sites and accounts2. Hands up if you know anyone who does this!
However, an even bigger concern is the threat to our essential services, such as electricity, water or transport. Australia is an easy target for a cyberattack, according to outgoing ASIO director-general, Duncan Lewis, making the ‘potential to cripple the economy, cause social unrest and damage our welfare and way of life3' are very real and sobering threat.
Imagine if a cyberattack was made on our public transport systems. The potential loss of innocent lives is unfathomable. Our increased reliance on technology and the internet means we need higher standards in managing big data and our critical services.
What do you think should be the primary focus in cyber security? Is it foolish to think there is only one primary focus? Do you think imposing fines to the business once a breach has occurred might provide an incentive for businesses to be more rigorous in protecting data?
Have your say in the consultation paper by clicking here.
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