Both these incidences are examples of cybercrimes, which are crimes involving technology such as a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Unfortunately, these two scenarios are all too common, as the latest cybercrime statistics show.
When it comes to personal cybercrime, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology’s Cybercrime in Australia 2023 report, 47 per cent of people who responded to its cybercrime survey had experienced at least one cybercrime in the previous 12 months.
One report every seven minutes
From a business perspective, the latest data from the Australian Cyber Security Centre indicates that for the 2021-22 financial year, the centre received more than 76,000 cybercrime reports. This equates to a report every seven minutes, a rise of nearly 13 per cent over the previous year.
Every industry and family is at risk of cybercrime. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s most recent notifiable data breaches report has found of all industries, health service providers are most at risk of a cyberattack, followed by businesses in the finance sector and recruitment agencies.
Having cyber insurance in place can make a big difference in the event of an attack. “It means organisations can get back to business as soon as possible. For individuals, it means you’re protected from, identity theft, hacking, malware and viruses.”
— Troy Filipcevic, Founder & CEO Emergence Insurance
These are sobering statistics, so it’s no surprise authorities are urging businesses and Australians to be vigilant when it comes to cybercrime. Australia’s information and privacy commissioner, Angelene Falk, said recently she expects organisations to have security measures in place to minimise the risk of a data breach.
“In the event of an incident such as a cyberattack, organisations must also be able to adequately assess whether a data breach has occurred, how it has occurred and what information has been affected,” she said.
What you can do
Fortunately, there are plenty of steps businesses and individuals can take to help reduce the risk of a cyber incident and recover quickly if they are unfortunate enough to experience one.
“If a company has effective back-ups, stored offline, then the incidence or potential for business interruption is significantly reduced,” says Emergence Insurance founder and CEO Troy Filipcevic.
Emergence Insurance is the first dedicated cyber insurance provider in Australia. It offers protection against the severe financial, commercial and reputational risks posed by cyber threats. Its customers include individuals, families, micro-businesses, SMEs and large enterprises.
Filipcevic says having cyber insurance in place makes a huge difference in the event of an attack. “It means organisations can get back to business as soon as possible. For individuals, it means you’re protected from identity theft, hacking, malware and viruses.”
When an attack happens, speed of response can be everything, especially for businesses.
“As soon as the business is aware it’s subject to a ransomware attack, a hack or anything else, they need to let us know because every second counts,” says Emergence chief operating officer Colin Pausey. “Our hotline is manned around the clock by genuine cyber incident response experts.”
In the meantime, there are plenty of steps businesses, individuals and families can take to maintain good cyber hygiene. Businesses should ensure their software is automatically updated for the latest security patches, to reduce the risk of criminals getting access to the network in the first place. Using a form of dual identification to access IT creates a further barrier to cyber criminals.
“Educate everyone in the business about how to identify fraudulent emails and other scams,” adds Pausey. “Run drills such as sending fake emails internally to pick up weak links in the business. Train people who are susceptible to phishing attacks to help them look for tell-tale signs an email isn’t from the organisation it appears to be from.”
In the event of a cyberattack, organisations must “be able to adequately assess whether a data breach has occurred, how it has occurred and what information has been affected.”
— Angelene Falk, Australia’s information and privacy commissioner
While cybercriminals are here to stay, there’s plenty everyone can do to reduce the risk of them doing harm. Families can similarly practice good cyber hygiene by talking about what is and is not acceptable behaviour online and monitoring children’s use of devices.
It’s also a good idea to encourage them to speak up if they feel uncomfortable with anything they are experiencing on social media or other internet platforms. Emergence recently launched a group personal cyber insurance product, which can be bought by employers as an employee benefit.
To learn more, visit emergenceinsurance.com.au