Australia’s heightened cyber risk environment – 2020 review and 2021 outlook
Much like their global counterparts Australian companies are digitally transforming at a pace that outstrips traditional cyber security thinking. With the backdrop of the ongoing pandemic and the increase in frequency and severity of ransomware, business email compromise and supply chain incidents, Australian executives are frequently asking how they better evaluate and understand a cyber risk that changes almost daily.
A majority of the cyber threats Australian businesses face today are not new — connected devices, ransomware, and insider risk will be ever-present. But what is new is that COVID-19 ushered in a substantial shift in the pace of business, and in turn exponentially intensified cyber risk.
Successful exploits that came to light at the end of 2020, including Mimecast, SolarWinds, Accellion, and Microsoft, brought a new threat reality to almost every business and government, demonstrating the vulnerabilities associated with third-parties, and causing insurers and insureds alike to review their overall exposure to risks related to the software supply chain.
Australian business like all others has seen a fundamental shift in business models and employee work practices since the start of the pandemic which are driving the need for more innovation, rapidly increasing the deployment of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA) and the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as more traditional digital platforms such as cloud, data and analytics and social platforms.