Cyber security is a big issue in Australia and this segment of the IT world is one that businesses neglect at their own peril. Dan Tehan, the Australian MP assisting the Prime Minister with cyber security has stated that estimates of the cost of cyber crime amount to $1 billion dollars per year. While the exact breakdown of which sectors are affected most isn’t yet available, it’s certainly clear that real money is being lost to cyber-crime. The Australian government is aware of the problem and plans to invest more than $230 million into cybersecurity over the next four years.
Cyber security threats are varied but the main problems for businesses are malware and breaches. Email phishing is becoming more sophisticated and malware is being distributed through more targeted and focused campaigns that are harder to detect. As more businesses use cloud software, the focus on breaching the cloud will increase as valuable detail is in there. Of course, password security remains one of the biggest issues while being the easiest to rectify. It is becoming imperative that multiple factor recognition for access becomes standard to avoid hackers breaking into several systems by finding out a single password.
The government has cyber security on its mind and it falls under the National Innovation and Science Agenda which was first announced in 2015. This Agenda is set to become operational during 2017 and the key component of the Cyber Security Strategy, the Cyber Security Growth Centre, is expected to be fully functioning when launched. This venture is to be headed by Craig Davies who is the director of security at Atlassian. The government is aware that while strong cyber security is important for businesses to not lose money and stay fully functional, it also presents an opportunity for growth for businesses in the cyber security realm. In their presentation, the Cybersecurity Growth Centre has stated they will provide more than $30 million until 2020 to grow the cyber security industry in Australia.
The cybersecurity industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years as a response to the increased levels of cyber-crime. In fact, the estimated worth of the cybersecurity market worldwide was US$74.5 billion dollars in 2015 and it is expected to be more than double this by 2020 towards a figure of US$170billion. These estimates do not exempt Australia from this growth at all. Actual brick and mortar security centres are being opened by the Computer Emergency Response team (the first of which opened in Brisbane in February) in capital cities across Australia. These centres have the combined resources of public and private sector and are a real tangible measure of the growth in value and importance of cybersecurity.
With this increased importance on cyber security, this is a good field for students to consider while choosing a university diploma and also for businesses to send their current IT professionals on for further training. The importance of this field will only increase.