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Cyber security spending on the rise for Aussie businesses

A large majority of Australian and New Zealand businesses are increasing cyber security spending without investing their money properly, according to new research.

user icon Daniel Croft
Fri, 02 Dec 2022
Cyber security spending on the rise for Aussie businesses
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Surveying 1,400 senior staff of large IT corporations, cloud computing company Fastly discovered that in Australia, 78 per cent of businesses state they are increasing their investment in cyber security.

However, the research also found that spending is not being done efficiently or to the best effect for the business.

While 59 per cent of those surveyed believed that the allocated budget for cyber security was adequate, the report also found only 60 per cent of tools are fully deployed, and 38 per cent of tools overlap, resulting in double the spend to protect from the same risk.

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This also increases the risk of false alarms, with Fastly finding that 42 per cent of alerts that organisations flag are false positives.

“By focusing on the full integration of a small number of best-in-breed technologies that work well together and are well configured, organisations can ensure they have a best practice cyber security strategy,” said chief product architect at Fastly, Sean Leach.

“This approach is far more effective than paying through the nose for a sprawl of products that are difficult to use and unable to talk to each other.”

Senior security strategist at Fastly Guy Brown said that businesses are better off developing the fundamentals and putting in good cyber security practices.

“These statistics should be a wake-up call for businesses to be constantly cyber security vigilant and ensure that they continue to invest in their people, process and technologies,” he said.

“Businesses should not live in fear but instead should be aware of the negative repercussions of cyber security failure and ensure that they invest in solutions that are fit for purpose.”

When it came to the biggest threats businesses face, 37 per cent of IT professionals were concerned most with data breaches, 33 per cent with phishing and 27 percent with malware. Despite this, 76 per cent of businesses said they were able to defend against these threats.

The largest concern was remote work, with 85 percent of IT seniors worried about moving to a work from home scenario.

Leach said that remote work is not on its own that creates vulnerability, but instead the lack of preparedness businesses faced because the pandemic left a gap for hackers to take advantage of.

“What is important now is that businesses accept that remote work is here to stay and plan their security strategy accordingly.

“It is naive to believe that the world of work will completely return to the way it was before the pandemic, and to fail to build the necessary security architecture to secure remote workers.”

Leach went on to say that Fastly has been implementing a “zero-trust policy, with end-to-end encryptions on all communications, and two-factor authentication for every user”, which has allowed them to work completely remotely.

Brown said that this is a path that other businesses can follow to ensure good cyber security.

“These basic cyber hygiene steps will go a long way to preventing severe financial, brand value and data losses and should be priorities for all businesses, regardless of size.

"In addition, by adopting these measures, an individual employee’s location won’t impact your business cyber security posture as there won’t be concerns around remote work. Hybrid work is here to stay, so businesses should be prepared to embrace it.”

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Born in the heart of Western Sydney, Daniel Croft is a passionate journalist with an understanding for and experience writing in the technology space. Having studied at Macquarie University, he joined Momentum Media in 2022, writing across a number of publications including Australian Aviation, Cyber Security Connect and Defence Connect. Outside of writing, Daniel has a keen interest in music, and spends his time playing in bands around Sydney.

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