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Cyber security and cyber crime in Australia - statistics & facts

The risk of cyber security breaches and the occurrence of cyber crime in Australia are increasing. The term ‘cyber’ is an adjective or prefix used to describe someone or something related to computers or information technology. Digitalization has changed how the world connects and brought new opportunities for cybercriminals. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the world was forced into home-office or remote work, exposing organizations to a plethora of new IT requirements and security risks. Organizations had to adapt quickly to develop and implement cybersecurity practices to meet these new requirements, and the work is far from over. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, both individuals and organizations must brace themselves against the risk of cyber-attacks, including data breaches, online scams, identification theft, and malware attacks, to name a few.

The price of cyber safety

Cyber security comes with a hefty price tag. The average cost of a data breach in Australia is close to three million U.S. dollars, but the financial impact is just one element of what is at risk. Globally, cyber-attacks cause lasting consequences for organizations, including a damaged brand reputation, a loss of customers, and difficulties attracting future customers. For those yet to experience a breach or cyber-attack, the cost of maintaining a secure system can be high. In Australia, the cybersecurity industry was expected to reach 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, almost one billion dollars more than in 2019, with many companies allocating more budget for cyber security spending each year.

Data breaches in Australia

Although tens of thousands of cyber-attacks are reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre each year, 2022 saw two particularly high-profile companies operating in Australia fall victim to large-scale cyber-attacks. Telco company Optus and private health insurer Medibank were both hacked, and millions of customer's personal data were accessed by hackers. It is not just large organizations that need to prioritize cyber security, with both small and medium businesses, and individuals being targeted too. In 2022, scam attempts to gain personal information came in a range of methods and resulted in tens of millions of Australian dollars in losses for victims.

The evolution of technology has enhanced the interconnectedness of the world while providing ever-increasing opportunities for cybercriminals. Although cyber security software and practices continue to expand to meet demand, cybercriminals continue to find loopholes. Cyber awareness and implementing basic security measures are effective initial steps for companies and individuals to protect themselves from cyber-attacks in the future.

Key insights

Global average cost of a data breach
4.35bn USD
Share of victimized companies that paid ransoms
62.9%
Most difficult cyber jobs to fill globally
Cloud security roles

Related topics

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Global overview

Cyber security in Australia

Cyber crime in Australia

Ransomware and malware

Scams

Consumer sentiment

Spotlight: cyber security and the global remote workforce

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