Most of the cyber incidents known to Australia’s leading cybersecurity hub over the past year have targeted government systems, and many target critical infrastructure.
A federal government contractor says he blocks half a million attacks a day, a sign of the sheer scale of cybersecurity threats.
The Australian Cyber Security Center, based within the Australian Signals Branch, highlighted Mandarin that “Australians cannot be complacent about their cybersecurity”.
“The CCAA is ready to provide assistance and advice as needed. “
The center received more than 67,500 cybercrime reports in 2020-2021 – the equivalent of one cyber attack occurring every eight minutes, and a 13% increase from the previous year.
More than a third of the attacks – which are carried out by state actors and criminals – targeted government agencies at the federal, state and local levels. A quarter was also aimed at interfering with critical infrastructure, including the healthcare, food distribution and energy sectors.
Entrepreneur Macquarie Government, which claims to provide cybersecurity and cloud services to 42% of federal government systems, blocks more than 500,000 suspected or confirmed cyber threats every day.
Aidan Tudehope, chief executive of the company, says the numbers highlight the depth and frequency of attacks on sensitive information.
“They also demonstrate the need for robust Australia-based cybersecurity technologies and personnel to stay ahead of the threat environment,” Tudehope said.
He says the attacks include viruses and other malware, port scans, denial of service attacks, and scripts.
“Email is another common attack vector targeting users within government agencies,” Tudehope warned.
The contract calls for an Australian team of security-qualified personnel to work around the clock to identify and thwart suspicious behavior.
The Digital Transformation Agency is clarifying that federal departments and agencies store data with certified vendors.
“The DTA expects systems classified as protected to be hosted in certified data center facilities by June 30, 2022, and is working with agencies to achieve this result,” a spokesperson said.
The agency has so far approved around 15 service providers, many of which have multiple data storage facilities.
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