Australians are becoming more and more connected online and the cybersecurity threats are growing dramatically. Cryptomining, Data spill, Denial of service, hacking, identity theft, malware, phishing-scam emails, ransomware, scams, and web shell malware were identified as common online security risks by the Australian Cybersecurity Center ASCS. In May 2020, Scam Watch-a website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has received 11350 scam reports while the estimated amount loss was $11639938.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizations have shifted to remote working which enhanced the importance of digital transformation including cybersecurity. Australian detected an increase of phishing emails related to the Coronavirus pandemic. One of these emails pretends to be from the World Health Organization. Other Australian citizens reported that they have received fraudulent “myGov” text messages related to a set of Covid-19 guidelines in their own geographic areas. Scammers have been sending emails claiming that the recipient has received an immediate cheque of $ 2 500.00 AUS because they choose to stay at home during the Coronavirus Crisis.
On June 19, 2020, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australian government agencies and businesses had been targeted by a “sophisticated state-based cyber actor,” according to the Guardian.
Late June 2020, the Australian government released an outline of a $760 million program to combat cybersecurity. Telecoms.com has published the breakdown of this AUS$ 670 million investment out of AUS $1.35 billion initially set by the government. Recently, the government started developing Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. The rest of the investment will be detailed in this strategy.
By allocating a budget to combat cybersecurity, the government is aiming to identify more threats, combat foreign cybercriminals. This initiative will be identified as “Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package”, states Telecoms.com.
In 2016, Australia released the Cybersecurity strategy that includes an investment of more than $ 230 million. The strategy that aimed to secure Australia prosperity in a connected world has five themes of action set for a period up to 2020. The report released by the Australian government sheds light on the importance of the digital space for businesses. The Australian small and medium businesses that are online are estimated at 84%. In addition, one out of two businesses receive payments online, which makes cybersecurity essential in protecting Australia’s social and economic wellbeing.
Australia has been suffering for long from cybercrime. Rachel Noble, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) states that Australians have reported cybercrime activities once every 10 minutes in summer 2019, according to ZDNet. In addition, she emphasized that a large number of people are not reporting cybercrime.
The Australian Cybersecurity Centre ACSC has released the so-called thread advisory entitled “Copy-paste Compromises” on June 19, 2020. The center has identified two mitigations that if implemented would reduce the risk of cybersecurity attacks. According to ACSC, organizations have to ensure that they are using the latest software and are applying mitigations to the internet-facing infrastructure within 48 hours. To reduce threats, ACSC recommends using multi-factor authentications across devices.