Australian employees are the weakest link in the nation’s fight against cyber attacks

Nearly half of all cybersecurity incidents in Australia were due to employee misuse of IT

Australian employees’ inappropriate IT usage has led to Kaspersky naming them the weakest link in the country’s fight against cyber attacks.

The report found that almost half of all security incidents in 2019 occurred as a result of “inappropriate usage”, with 42.9% of incidents being caused by employees inappropriately sharing data across mobile devices. 

The report also found that lost employee devices accounted for 42% of security incidents in small- and medium-sized businesses and 47% of incidents in larger enterprises. Despite the obviousness of such risks, a meagre 8.5% of Australian respondents ranked mobile security as their key security issue.

The survey, which included approximately 5,000 global businesses - 250 of them being Australian - also found the more complex an IT system is, the more likely cybercriminals are to exploit it.

By taking advantage of weaknesses in emerging technologies, attackers are better able to tailor their attacks and be successful in their nefarious endeavors. 

“Many businesses have now been forced to quickly adapt to a home workforce during COVID-19,” shared Kaspersky A/NZ senior security researcher Noushin Shabab.

“With an increased dependency on mobile devices, remote working using cloud applications and data being used from more locations, the risk of cyberattacks in 2020 is set to skyrocket if businesses don’t quickly close gaps in their security and focus on the way they’re using cloud services,” continued Shabab.

The survey also found that when it comes to IT budgets, about two-thirds of Australian businesses are expected to increase their budgets over the next three years. However, roughly 28% of Australian organizations currently allocate less than 10% of their IT budget to security, while around 40% of businesses allocate 10-25% to security. 

Related Resource

Remote office networks pose a business and reliability risk

A survey of IT professionals shows that nearly every company suffers direct business impact from network service interruptions

Download now

“Our findings show that Australian businesses vastly underfund their security measures compared to global counterparts with 11.7% of businesses globally allocating more than half their IT budget on security,” explained Shabab.

With 26.4% of Australian small businesses reporting AU$3,000-AU$15,000 in cyber attack-related loses in 2018 and 2019, this perpetual underfunding illustrates a growing discrepancy between budget allocation to cybersecurity and the immense cost of potential data breaches.

Featured Resources

How to choose an AI vendor

Five key things to look for in an AI vendor

Download now

The UK 2020 Databerg report

Cloud adoption trends in the UK and recommendations for cloud migration

Download now

2021 state of email security report: Ransomware on the rise

Securing the enterprise in the COVID world

Download now

The impact of AWS in the UK

How AWS is powering Britain's fastest-growing companies

Download now

Recommended

ProtectedBy.AI’s CodeLock blocks malware at source code level
software as a service (SaaS)

ProtectedBy.AI’s CodeLock blocks malware at source code level

9 Jun 2021
CISOs aren’t leading by example when it comes to cyber security
cyber security

CISOs aren’t leading by example when it comes to cyber security

24 May 2021
New report highlights the need for diversity in cyber security recruitment
cyber security

New report highlights the need for diversity in cyber security recruitment

28 Apr 2021

Most Popular

GitHub to prohibit code that’s used in active attacks
cyber security

GitHub to prohibit code that’s used in active attacks

7 Jun 2021
WWDC 2021: Apple unveils iOS 15, macOS Monterey and more
iOS

WWDC 2021: Apple unveils iOS 15, macOS Monterey and more

8 Jun 2021
OnePlus 9 Pro review: An instant cult classic
Hardware

OnePlus 9 Pro review: An instant cult classic

7 Jun 2021