Home Business Top Australian government cyber security firm says paying hackers is common

Top Australian government cyber security firm says paying hackers is common

Australia’s largest health insurer recently revealed the growing scale of violations

Corporate insurers regularly pay ransoms for the return of stolen customer data to hackers, a top Australian government cybersecurity provider said on Tuesday, as the country’s largest health insurer recently reported a growing scale of breaches. disclosed.

The claim of Macquarie Telecom Group Ltd, which runs cybersecurity for 42% of Australian federal employees, including the Australian Taxation Office, gives a sense of the lack of preparedness in an industry that has been making headlines amid a wave of high-profile hacks. in the last month.

“These are the world’s largest corporations, falling on themselves to pay criminals their dues as quickly as possible,” Macquarie CEO David Tudehope told Reuters in an interview, referring to cyber insurance firms. “In what other area of ​​life do you see reputed corporates paying criminals millions of dollars and somehow that’s okay?”

Todayhop said the insurers who ransom the hackers had no way of ensuring that the data was removed, meaning sensitive customer information was at risk of being exposed online.

This month Australia’s largest health insurer, Medibank Pvt Ltd, revealed that a criminal had shown it had stolen the personal health data of 100 of its 4 million customers and demanded payment for the return of the data. On Tuesday, Medibank said the criminal had shown data on another 1,000 customers and said the number was likely to rise.

Singapore Telecom Ltd-owned Optus, the country’s number 2 telco, said last month data on about 10 million customer accounts, equivalent to 40% of the Australian population, had been taken by a hacker to demand payment. A man claiming to be an Optus hacker later withdrew the demand over concerns about the hype.

The federal government has meanwhile said it will impose fines of up to $50 million for companies that end up with data breaches.

Cybersecurity Claire O’Neill told Parliament, “This is a very big warning for the country.” “We need to do more as a country to step up.”

O’Neill said a national crisis management group set up during the COVID outbreak became active on Saturday and has met three times to discuss the Medibank hack.

Macquarie Telecom CEO TODAYHOP declined to comment on any incidents, but blamed, in part, less prepared cybersecurity chiefs who were focusing too heavily on internal stakeholder management and firewall software such as all-in-one. depended heavily on security.

“The challenge in cyber is that it changes so quickly and people in senior management, who in many cases don’t have a background in cyber security because it wasn’t a thing as they worked their way through their careers,” said TODAYHOPE. he said. ,

“They’re making decisions that they don’t have a strong sense of in many cases,” he said. “People who have a deeper level of IT security (knowledge) are often at a junior or middle level in an IT department or government agency.”

Todayhop said most companies will receive cyberattacks and should have a recovery plan in place, such as repeatedly backing up confidential data to a different location, to make sure hackers can’t access it.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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