Fraud Prevention

What’s Next for Cybercrime in Australia?

November 9, 20226 min Read

cybercrime in australia

Did you know, last year in Australia, a cybercrime was reported every eight minutes? Not only were there more security incidents, but more were classified as having significant impact. These findings, along with a recent outbreak of national cyberattacks, have highlighted the nation’s vulnerable state and relatively relaxed attitude toward safeguarding personal information. 

The biggest breach in Australian history occurred last month, when sensitive data on approximately 10 million customers was compromised through Optus, the second largest wireless carrier in the country. With other Australian enterprises like Medibank, Woolworth’s, and Vinomofo also announcing breaches within the same month, it is clear attack surfaces in the land down under are changing in dangerous new ways. 

What are cyber experts in Australia saying?

Malicious cybercriminals are escalating their attacks on organizations in Australia. Many cybersecurity experts are concerned about these recent outbreaks, including Arkose Labs CEO, Kevin Gosschalk, who was recently featured in the Financial Review discussing how fraudsters use bots and stolen credentials to hack into online accounts—and with great results. From a cybersecurity perspective, Australia is now considered to be the most attacked country in the world. Aside from personal data, the security and integrity of critical infrastructure assets like utilities, supply chains, and healthcare systems also hang in the balance. 

Gosschalk acknowledges that attackers  are a force of nature, one that demands a clear and effective mitigation strategy. For Gosschalk and Arkose Labs, this strategy means identifying scammers and frustrating their progress enough to ruin any return on investment. In other words, hit them where it hurts, and they’ll take their hacking toys and go elsewhere. 

According to Clare O’Neil, the cybersecurity minister of Australia, the country is “behind the eight ball” and likely to see an upsurge in similar attacks. “We need to really step up our game in Australia in terms of policy, in terms of citizens, and in terms of how we think about this problem,” says O’Neil. In fact, cyber resilience is one of Australia’s greatest challenges to date—and something they will need to overcome on the road to better economic security and prosperity. 

Has Australia fallen behind on data privacy?

Questions and concerns around data privacy in Australia have been largely sidelined in favor of a more legislative focus. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when the world began to assess its security on a broader level, Australia focused on granting law enforcement and intelligence agencies access to whatever personal data they needed. As a result, issues around data privacy and potential online breaches are no longer top-of-mind—and have even fallen to the wayside. 

Similar to other countries, Australia continues to struggle with digital advancements, a challenge that is forcing them to respond with changing tactics. Until recently, Australian citizens were not actively thinking about the value of their data or how it might be leveraged in myriad unauthorized ways. But consumer attitudes are shifting, and a push toward accountability is emerging. Consumers now recognize that losing sensitive data to scammers should not be the price of doing business online. In 2022, we can do better. Many Australians wonder: What are companies doing to protect consumer data? 

There are signs that consumers are challenging data-gathering practices. Rather than offering up personal data without question, Aussies are asking about who really needs their information and why. For example, the Australian government in support of the people made a quick response to the Optus data breach. Home Affairs in Australia is considering how to codify personal data into a “national asset,” which must be guarded in the same way as other sensitive equity such as money or physical property. 

What are Australia’s next steps?

With Australia topping the charts as the world’s most hacked country, and costs spiraling into the millions per incident, minimizing the impact of cyberattacks means being prepared to take prompt action when necessary. With innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, and virtual reality poised to perplex an already stressed system, prevention must take priority. It is only when preventative security measures are in place that detection and remediation of security vulnerabilities becomes possible. 

Arkose Labs provides this level of prevention through the detection and defense of online bots. It reviews an organization's threat profile and identifies relevant attack surfaces in need of protection from automated and human-driven fraud and abuse. For organizations holding data, preparedness means leveraging this type of technology—in combination with other advanced tools—to protect sensitive data and systems. 

Heard it before? You’re not alone. People, organizations, and authorities in Australia are growing tired of hearing the same security advice over and over. As a result, new discussions are emerging around whether company directors should be held personally responsible for cyberattacks happening on their watch. In Australia, the maximum penalty for breaches in privacy laws is currently set at $1.4 million (2.2 million Australian dollars), a fine that is rarely imposed. Many experts are saying this fine should sit somewhere closer to $20 million.

Big picture, Australia is in dire need of a change in how it handles information security. To overhaul existing cyber laws and bring on more accountability from legislators, companies, and consumers, privacy needs to be more highly regarded and protected. 

How Arkose Labs can help

The technology behind Arkose Labs is simple yet effective—render cybercrime too expensive, and scammers will cease and desist. Attackers are always looking for ways to breach accounts through the weakest link and to bypass defense mechanisms. When a hacker steals user accounts, they are then able to monetize those assets through third-party sales. Or they can use them as a springboard for more comprehensive attacks. 

Arkose Labs protects businesses and their consumers from malicious online activity through purpose-built security. A well-protected site with advanced security solutions requires scammers to invest more in mounting the actual attack and to craft a more sophisticated strategy to evade detection. Book a meeting with us to find out more about how Arkose Labs is disrupting the hacking business. We have answers, Australia!

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