Concerns over dumping of CyberCrime from SCOMO’s frontbench
There is concern that the Government has downgraded its focus on tackling cyber-crime with the removal of a dedicated cyber security Minister as part of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s new cabinet.
“Given the push by companies like Amazon to gather data on consumers through smart speaker technology, like Alexa, there is real concern that the Government is taking its eye off the ball on protecting people from cyber security,” Managing Director of cyber-security outfit Xpotentia, Sorin Toma said today.
“Companies like Amazon are developing new ways to obtain data and establish ‘profiles’ on consumers using smart technology, like their Alexa unit. This is creating a smorgasbord of information available to hackers. There has never been a more critical time for the Government to monitor and protect consumers from cyber-crime,” Mr Toma said.
According to the latest quarterly report by Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the number of reportable data breaches since the Government’s new legislation came into effect in February, is 305. The report indicates that 59% of these were vicious cyber-criminal attacks.
Almost 40% of the reported data breaches impacted 100 or more individuals, with 23 breaches impacting between one thousand and five thousand, six impacting between five thousand and ten thousand, two affecting between fifty thousand and a hundred thousand individuals and one data breach was reported to impact between one million and ten million people.”
“And reported data breaches are just the tip of the cyber-crime iceberg, with criminals now calling people claiming to be from a major business like a bank or a software company, telling them their computer has a virus and prompting them into actions that reveal passwords and other personal information,” Mr Toma said.
“Which is why there is concern over the new Prime Minister’s decision to remove cyber-crime as a headline ministerial responsibility. Previously Angus Taylor was listed as Minister for Cyber Crime, however there is now no dedicated Federal Government Minister for cyber-crime.”
“Industry obviously understands that the issue of cyber-crime will likely fall under the remit of the Minister for Home Affairs, however, he fact that the role has been officially deleted is concerning and suggests a lack of understanding within government of the new age of cyber-crime that is sweeping the globe, including right here in Australia,” he said.
“Consumers need to hear loud and clear that this Government understands the rapid development of cyber-threats and that they are serious about protecting consumers and combating this cowardly criminal element at its source.”
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