MP: New cybersecurity book “should be read in every single boardroom in Australia”
A regional Australian retailer that paid a $250,000 ransom to cybercriminals – and stayed quiet about it to avoid making front-page news – is among the silent victims of online crime, government and industry leaders heard last night.
Speaking at the Parliament House launch of a new book to help leaders understand and navigate cybersecurity, Dan Tehan, Minister Assisting Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Cyber Security, said businesses are refusing to admit being hit by cybercrime for fear of reputational damage.
Mr Tehan said cybercrime is conservatively estimated to cost the Australian economy $1 billion annually – but added that the real figure is likely to be much higher.
He said Surviving The Rise of Cybercrime, a new book by cybersecurity company MailGuard founder Craig McDonald, should be read in every boardroom in Australia.
In under an hour, the non-technical book helps leaders understand and mitigate cyber threats ranging from phishing to ransomware.
“It is easy to read, it is understandable, I think it’s the sort of publication that we do need to get being read in every single boardroom in Australia,” Mr Tehan said.
“We also need to make sure it’s getting read by those organisations that look after small businesses, whether it be the accountants, whether it be the lawyers, whether it be banks, small or large, we need to get this being read across executives, and to the homes, and to small businesses across this nation.”
Mr Tehan told the crowd of political and industry leaders, including Australian Cyber Security Growth Network CEO, Craig Davies, Alastair MacGibbon (Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security) and shadow minister for cyber security, Gai Brodtmann, that businesses were suffering huge financial losses in silence.
“One of the unfortunate things is that a lot of the businesses, especially small businesses, that are getting impacted, don’t want to come forward because of the reputational risks that they suffer as a result of the attack,” he said.
“Last week, I met with a company, a small retail company. It had been hit a couple of months ago. $250,000 – this company, in a medium-sized regional town, had to pay to get their computer systems up and back and operating normally.
“Now, that is a huge hit to any business, but for a regional firm to cop something like that, is absolutely significant. And, they didn’t, and still don’t, want to get on the front page and publicise that that’s what happened to them.”
Mr Davies praised author Craig McDonald as a true pioneer of cybersecurity in Australia, and said choosing MailGuard as ACSGN’s first official partner was an easy decision.
“MailGuard were actually the first partner we selected to join us in the mission of the Growth Network. Because it was important for us to protect our team from threats that were coming through, and also to protect our mission, what needed to be done.”
Referring to MailGuard’s newly-formed global partnership with Microsoft, Mr Davies said:
“MailGuard was founded in 2001, and has been recognised as a world-leading cybersecurity firm in the realm of protection. I think it’s important to note that the relationship that they have now formed with Microsoft is recognition of what they’ve been able to achieve here in Australia as a small, successful firm, based in Victoria.”
Download the eBook version of Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime here.
About Surviving the Rise of Cybercrime
Cybercrime costs the Australian economy between $1 billion and $17 billion annually, or roughly 1 per cent of GDP. The average attack costs SMBs $276,000.
Cybercrime is a rapidly-growing industry. It is now the number one economic crime in Australia, according to PwC, having been deemed “statistically insignificant” just six years ago.
It’s easy for cybercriminals to get a foot in the door, with 91% of cyber attacks arriving via email, usually via phishing. Every day, 205 billion emails are sent around the world – and everyone with an email address is a potential target.
Surviving the Rise of Cybercrimeexplains the complex threat in straight-forward terms, with the aim of empowering time-poor, non-tech executives in under an hour.
The book covers:
· Identifying threats to a business
· Why cybercriminals target particular businesses and staff
· Why IT teams struggle to prevent these rising threats
· The role leaders and executives need to play in cybersecurity
· How to educate managers and teams as the frontline of your company’s cyber defence.