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Government Calls On Industry To Tighten Up Cybersecurity

The Australian government is discussing new standards with local companies on cyber security that could see company directors held personally responsible for ransomware attacks and other breaches.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews touched on the proposal in a discussion paper on cyber security released yesterday (Tuesday).

Reforms under consideration include stronger cyber security standards for the digital economy; more transparent information about cyber security; and stronger legal remedies for consumers.

Karen Andrews.

Andrews said that, with Australian businesses and consumers more active online than ever before; opportunities for cyber criminals to target Australians are increasing.

“The government is taking action to mitigate the real and present danger that cybercrime presents to Australians and our economy. We cannot allow this criminal activity to become a significant handbrake on our economic growth and digital security,” she said.

“Through this period of consultation, I’m keen to hear from businesses, the critical infrastructure sector, IT experts, and the wider public, about the solutions and mitigations they propose.”

The consultation comes as the Australian Institute of Criminology released a new report which puts the economic impact of cybercrime on the Australian economy at $3.5 billion, including $1.9 billion lost by individuals.

The report said 34 percent of respondents had experienced some form of cybercrime, with 14 percent being victimised in the last 12 months.

This amounts to around 6.7 million Australians who have been cybercrime victims, with 2.8 million victimised in the past year.

Those impacted have spent a total of $597 million dealing with the consequences and $1.4 billion on prevention costs.

The good news is that, of the money lost, some $389 million was recovered.

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