Call for Increased Cybersecurity Funding in Australia

A recent survey conducted by Tenable, an exposure management company, revealed that a majority of Australian IT and cybersecurity professionals feel that the Australian government should allocate more resources towards cybersecurity to mitigate risks effectively.

The survey, carried out in collaboration with Pure Profile, gathered responses from over 200 IT and cybersecurity leaders in various sectors such as insurance, banking, education, healthcare, and transport. The participants expressed concerns that the current cybersecurity funding in the federal budget, while somewhat adequate, falls short in addressing the ever-evolving cyber threats.

Specifically, the survey highlighted the need for increased federal funding for proactive cybersecurity measures, with 79% of respondents advocating for a stronger emphasis on preventive strategies. Despite some confidence in the government’s ability to address cyber challenges following the recent budget announcement, nearly 40% of stakeholders believe that more needs to be done to meet all requirements.

The survey findings shed light on whether the Australian government has taken sufficient steps to combat the increasing cyber threats faced by enterprises and the risk mitigation tactics they can employ to minimize financial losses from cyber incidents.

According to the latest report from the Australian Signals Directorate, cybercrime incidents targeting enterprises have risen by 23%, with an average report received every six minutes, compared to every seven minutes in the previous year. The average cost of cybercrime has also surged by up to 14%. The survey also revealed a positive link between proactive risk management and a potential reduction of up to 15% in cyber insurance premiums.

Australian IT leaders are prioritizing preventive measures such as access controls and monitoring, regular software updates and patch management, and ongoing employee training on cybersecurity best practices as key strategies to mitigate financial losses from cyber incidents.

Implementing these measures has proven to be advantageous for organizations, resulting in lower cyber insurance premiums due to reduced cyber risks. Forty-four percent of IT leaders have reported reductions ranging from 5% to 15%, underscoring the financial benefits of investing in preventive cybersecurity measures.

Scott McKinnel, Tenable’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand, emphasized the importance of proactive risk management in enhancing security and financial benefits through reduced insurance premiums. He stressed the need for both public and private sectors to collaborate and prioritize preventive measures to counter emerging threats effectively.