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The importance of cybersecurity: Cybercrime losses reach $33bln in AU for 2021

A recent study by the Australian Cyber Security Centre showed that an act of cybercrime is reported every 8 minutes. Considering that small and medium businesses are one of the main groups falling victim to such acts of crime, business owners should take note.

Did you know that every successful data breach ends up costing businesses $2.82 million? For small and medium businesses, every successful Business Email Compromise (BEC) costs more than $50,600 (AUD). These numbers grew much larger compared to the previous year.

With hackers becoming more and more sophisticated in their attacks, using new ransomware tactics to target Australian organisations, cyber threats are more dangerous than ever.

Read on to find out the most crucial statistics about cybercrimes in AU, learn why they are growing so fast, and how you can protect your business, employees, and your sensitive data from malicious cyber-attacks, phishing, and ransomware.

Why are cyber threats growing?

Even though hackers keep finding new ways to attack web users, the number of cybercrime reports still increased at a more alarming rate during the 2020-21 financial year. In fact, there was a 13% increase from the previous year. Instead of cybercrimes being reported every 10 minutes, reporting started to happen every 8 minutes. One of the main reasons for this rapid increase was the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 18,000 cybercrimes were attributed to the COVID situation in Australia. With more people working from home, this pandemic gave hackers the opportunity to exploit businesses, people, as well as government organizations.

Cybercrime statistics you should know

If you want to get a general understanding of the cybercrime situation in Australia, these critical cyber threat statistics can help.

– During FY 20-21, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) received more than 67,500 cybercrime reports.

Figure 1. Cybercrime reports by month for the financial year 2020-21 vs 2019-20

– Cybercrimes were reported every 8 minutes in Australia during 2020-21.

– Ransomware cyberattack reports increased by more than 15%.

– Business Email Compromise (BEC) is one of the major threats for businesses and organisations, costing upwards of $50,600 (AUD) for each successful attempt.

Figure 2. Average reported loss due to BEC for FY 19-20 vs FY 20-21

– Total cybercrime losses reached $33 billion during 2020-21.

– Medium-sized businesses are under the highest financial risk.

Figure 3. Average reported loss by business size during FY 20-21

How to protect your business from cybercriminals

When you become aware of the threat that cybercrimes pose to your business, you’ve already taken the first step towards protecting your business, data, employees, and clients.

The ACSC offers resources for combating and protecting you and your business from cyber-attacks. Some of them include:

– Being aware of scams and taking caution when opening emails and other resources from the internet.

– Enabling two-factor authentication for all your digital accounts and data sources.

– Keep all your devices updated.
– Only use strong passphrases, make them longer, complicated, one of a kind, and unpredictable.
– Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The actions mentioned above are vital in ensuring a standard level of security.

– Keep all your devices updated.
– Only use strong passphrases, make them longer, complicated, one of a kind, and unpredictable.
– Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The actions mentioned above are vital in ensuring a standard level of security.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been a victim of a cyber-attack, immediately report it to the authorities through ReportCyber. You can also contact them through their hotline – 1300 CYBER1 (1300 292 371), or email them at [email protected].

A business in 2021 can’t afford to overlook the importance of cybersecurity measures. Not only will you protect your sensitive data, but you will also avoid losses and keep up a good business practice.

Follow all cybersecurity guidelines, and invest in more robust, heavy-duty solutions if you want to keep your business secure.

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