Cyber Attacks Rise In Australia
Over the 2020-2021 financial year, the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses to expand the boundaries of Australia’s computer networks, pushing corporate systems into homes across the country as a large percentage of the workforce shifted to working remotely.
September saw ACSC annual cyber threat report released with contributions from the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO), Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), The Department of Home Affairs and industry partners.
Cyber “actors” repeatedly took advantage of Australia’s heightened vulnerability during this time to conduct cyber espionage, steal money and sensitive data.
The ACSC received over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13 per cent from the previous financial year. The report cites cyber-attacks are occurring (on average) every 8 minutes. The average loss for per successful event has increased to more than $50,600– over one-and-a-half times higher than the previous financial year.
It’s no longer just big businesses being targeted either. Small to medium businesses; families and individuals were all targeted by criminals or actors. Malicious actors exploited the coronavirus pandemic environment by targeting Australians’ desire for digitally accessible information or services.
Emails were regularly associated with COVID-related topics, encouraging recipients to enter personal information to access COVID-related services or information. Over 1,500 cybercrime reports of malicious cyber activity related to the coronavirus pandemic (approximately 4 per day).
Australian businesses are losing significant amounts of money through Business email compromises. Business email compromise often involves cyber criminals compromising a business or personal email account and impersonating a trusted supplier or business representative to scam victims out of money or goods.
Total losses were approximately $81.45 million (AUD) for the 2020–21 financial year, an increase of nearly 15 per cent from the previous financial year. Average loss per successful Business email compromise transaction also increased, by 54 per cent – in one case, Business email compromise led to the bankruptcy of a company.
Ransomware still poses one of the most significant threats to Australian Businesses. The report details a 15% increase in ransomware cybercrime reports over the 2020-2021 financial year. Along with Fraud, online shopping scams and online banking scams were the top reported cybercrime types. The highest proportion of cybercrime reports made in the 2020–21 financial year were made from entities or individuals in Queensland and Victoria, accounting for approximately 30 per cent each.
Cyber insurance can help cover financial losses to your business, your customers and other parties following a cyber security breach. Speak to our team to find out how we can assist business owners with peace of mind and protection against cyber-attacks, such as computer hacking, ransomware and data theft.