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The struggle to maintain Australia’s cybersecurity

The struggle to maintain Australia’s cybersecurity

Consider this: a cybersecurity incident impacts Australia’s private or public sector every eight minutes. There’s a cyber attack on Australia’s critical infrastructure every 32 minutes. There were almost 500 ransomware incidents recorded in just one year.

And they are just the reports we know about – experts say the actual rate is much higher.

Government entities and private organisations are under increasing attack from organised criminals, state-based actors and others wanting to inflict digital chaos. They use various techniques to infiltrate organisations and steal data, identities and company secrets or disrupt critical services. Some methods are highly sophisticated; others rely on employees to open digital doors.

This special report looks at the state of cybersecurity in Australia, the industries that are most vulnerable to cyber threats and how authorities are trying to find people with the skills to combat future attacks. It also looks at the next generation of cyber threats – such as ‘deepfakes’, which have the potential to throw our digital-obsessed societies into turmoil.

The cybersecurity challenge is immense, but it’s a battle Australia must win.

How well is Australia prepared for cyber threats in 2022 and beyond?

The Australian Cyber Security Centre received more than 67,500 cyberattack reports during 2020-21. That's one every eight minutes.

Cat and mouse: why ransomware is an evolving organisational threat

Not only are ransomware attacks more sophisticated and frequent, they’re becoming more targeted and personal.

How we’re losing the arms race against deepfake technology

As synthetic media technology — deepfakes — continues to improve, detection becomes even more difficult.

Beware state-based actors looking to kick down digital doors

With the digital environment a new front for espionage, foreign jurisdictions have been busy trying to kick down Australia's digital doors.

Cybercrime’s shifting sands: which industries are most vulnerable?

During the pandemic, cybercriminals swooped on unsuspecting organisations to probe for IT vulnerabilities, especially all government levels.

Digital tools allowing extremism to flourish around the world

QAnon adherents, anti-government militias, sovereign citizens and jihadist and white supremacist groups have co-opted emerging communication technologies in a way that has security agencies such…

What skills do we need on the cybersecurity front line?

Professor Chris Leckie and his colleagues rarely find themselves struggling for inspiration when it comes to research projects. “I often joke that cybersecurity is a…

Clear and present dangers: understanding and preparing for cyber threats

We've gone remote very, very quickly. Digital security takes a long time to implement securely but we've been forced to do it quickly.

Time for government to put its foot on the cloud accelerator

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated demand for cloud technologies as the private and public sectors rushed to update the delivery of urgent services and ensure continuity.

Two common tech myths holding back public sector innovation

Government adoption of cloud services has historically moved slowly. That’s changing as agencies look to adopt more digital-first agendas.