Security Market Segment LS
Tuesday, 02 April 2019 21:01

Australian businesses plan increased spend on defence as cyber attacks escalate

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Cyber attacks are increasing in volume and sophistication, causing regular security breaches affecting 89% of organisations, according to a newly released survey of Australian organisations.

The survey, commissioned by cloud endpoint security vendor Carbon Black, and undertaken by research company Opinion Matters in January, reveals that the average number of breaches per organisation is 4.28 over the past 12 months, while 81% of surveyed organisations reported seeing an increase in attack volumes

The report notes that of the 81% of surveyed Australian businesses reporting an increase in cyber attacks, 28% said the volume had grown by 51% or more in the past year.

And 88% of surveyed businesses said they’ve witnessed an increase in attack sophistication, with over a quarter of respondents (29%) saying adversaries had grown significantly more sophisticated in their approach, and 88% of attacks had become more sophisticated.

In addition, 90% of Australian organisations surveyed said they were planning to increase spending on cyber defence in response to the escalating threat landscape.

“Our first Australian threat report indicates that organisations in Australia are under intense pressure from escalating cyber attacks,” said Rick McElroy, head of Security Strategy for Carbon Black.

“The research indicates increases across the board in attack volume and sophistication, causing frequent breaches. In response, an encouraging number of Australian organisations are adopting threat hunting and seeing positive results. As threat hunting strategies start to mature, we hope to see fewer attacks making it to full breach status.”

According to the survey, malware is the most common attack type in Australia, with 29% of organisations naming it the most commonly encountered. 

But Carbon Black says the survey found that the human factor plays a big part in the attacks that lead to breaches.

Phishing attacks are at the root of 12% of successful breaches, the survey noted, with process weakness the identified cause in 13% of breaches, and Carbon Black indicates that basic security hygiene should still be considered a priority by organisations.  

The survey found that 65% of Australian organisations said they are actively threat hunting, with over a quarter (26%) having threat hunted for more than one year. In addition, over one-third (38%) said they have started in the past year.  

“A very encouraging 92% of those organisations report that threat hunting has strengthened their defences,” Carbon Black observes.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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