Monday, 07 August 2017 05:18

Govt plan to share data on threats to help SMBs


The federal government's plan to share data on cyber security collected by intelligence agencies will benefit small and medium-sized businesses the most, a Telstra official claims.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the plan, which was announced in May, will provide declassified data from the Australian Signals Directorate to telecommunications companies and ISPs so they can improve their defences against cyber threats.

The newspaper quoted Telstra security director Neil Campbell as saying the data would make it easier for vendors to create tools for SMBs who often neglect cyber security.

"This is where I think we have the opportunity to really make a difference," he said. "We have the opportunity to deliver at such a scale we can make it cost-effective for our customers."

Recent cyber attacks, like the WannaCry ransomware and another ransomware attack that hit Europe and spread to other parts of globe have highlighted the threat that both businesses and individuals face online.

In addition, there is a regular stream of malware that attacks mostly the Windows platform; as businesses and home users mostly have such workstations, measures to improve security are needed.

The government plans to provide data on indicators of compromise that show whether a given attack has worked or not. This data can be captured during various stages of an attack.

This data can be merged by ISPs along with their own data to create a database than can be used to check for attacks and also to create better solutions to ward off cyber threats.

Campbell told the AFR: "The more data you have, the more context you have, the more opportunity you have to find aberrant behaviour on the network or malicious behaviour on the network.

"Putting systems in place to identify those and then taking what you learn in one part of the internet and then applying it to people who would be vulnerable to that attack in another part of the internet, that's where you go from passive to active."

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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