Data breaches hitting Australia are becoming more complex and expensive as the average cost of data breaches increased by 32 per cent in five years.
According to IBM’s Cost Of Data Breach Report 2023, Australian businesses collectively counted an A$4.03 million average cost due to data breaches.
The report found that financial services bore the biggest brunt of data breaches, averaging a cost of $5.56 million last year.
This was followed by technology, which saw an average cost of A$5.06 million, and then education, which averaged A$4.61 million.
All three sectors saw significantly higher costs than the average cost across the country of A$4.03 million.
Detection and escalation costs reached A$1.68 million -- the highest portion of breach costs, which, according to IBM, indicates a shift towards more complex breach investigations.
Across all Australian breaches studied, the two most common attack types were phishing scams over 22 per cent, and stolen or compromised credentials over 17 per cent.
Most often breached data was stored across multiple types of environments in Australia at 32 per cent, followed by private cloud at 28 per cent and on-premises at 21 per cent.
Globally, the IBM study also found that 95 per cent of studied organisations, including Australian organisations, have experienced more than one breach.
The global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was US$4.45 million, a 15 per cent increase over three years.
However, the amount of cost significantly outweighs that spent by Australian organisations on cyber security solutions. As of 2021, Australian organisations spent A$4.9 billion on enterprise information security and risk management products and services.
To boost local security skills, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) opened up a new round of its Innovate to Grow program, targeting small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) across the cyber security and digital technology sectors.
The program provides research and development (R&D) knowledge, with resources and mentors available to help SMEs develop R&D ideas.