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It's about time Australian businesses invested in cyber security

Cyber crime costs Australia upwards of a billion dollars every year, and many large companies have been the target of malicious attacks, including Kmart, David Jones, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Australian Government Parliamentary Services. 

However, many Australian businesses also fail to publicly acknowledge that they have been breached, meaning this figure may well be higher. Indeed, the Australian Signals Directorate was called in to review more than 1,200 cyber attacks last year, up from 940 in 2014, while at least 60 attacks plagued Australian energy networks in 2014-2015.  

“It only takes one vulnerable host to infect an entire network. Yet according to Check Point research, 96% of the organisations we recently studied use at least one high-risk application,” says David De Laine, Check Point Software Technologies regional managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

Last month, the Australian Government announced a $230 million Cyber Security Strategy including free security health checks for ASX 100 companies and $15 million in small business grants to help enterprises test cyber security.  

The Australian Information Security Association asserts that there are around 200,000 small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) in Australia in need of cyber security protection assistance and believes that the issue of cyber security needs be a strategic business priority. De Laine says, “Cloud computing, mobility and the Internet of Things are megatrends which are reshaping the IT infrastructures used by many organisations. Finding ways to maintain proper security as the diversity of technologies continues to grow rapidly is becoming an increasing challenge.  

“External data sources, cloud platforms and mobile devices all provide valuable services, but they also create new potential avenues for intrusion. Each and every endpoint is a potential door into an organisation's IT systems and data, and hackers only need to open one to wreak havoc."   “In a world with high-demanding IT infrastructures and networks, where perimeters are no longer well defined, and where threats grow more intelligent every day, we need to define the right way to protect enterprises in the ever changing threat landscape.    “The benefits of having a free security check up provide organisations with the knowledge that core systems and data will remain secure at all times,” he says.

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