Australia faces a significant shortage of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals as high profile companies are repeatedly plagued by data breaches.
The fourth iteration of the Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan is due for release this week and outlines how and why the frequency of cyberattacks is expected to double over the next five years.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Medibank data hack escalates.
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Australia will also face a shortage of 3000 cybersecurity staff by 2026, largely due to startups receiving 300 times less funding.
According to job board Seek, the average salary in the cybersecurity industry is around $120,000.
Cyber Security Secretary Clare O’Neil launches a national cyber event in Melbourne on Monday.
The event aims to bring together industry experts, executives and government to discuss cybersecurity challenges.
It comes as Australian authorities and companies manage double data breaches.
The personal data of nearly 10 million Optus customers was compromised in September before the so-called hacker withdrew a threat to hold the data for ransom.
Recently, a group identified by the Australian Federal Police as Russian cybercriminals breached insurer Medibank.
In addition to customers’ personal information, information on nearly 500,000 health records was stolen in the Medibank glitch.
The group responsible also demanded a ransom, but unlike the Optus hacker, did not retract the threat.
On Monday, another 500 customer records were published on the dark web.
The leak included Australians who had used the insurer to access treatment for mental illness.
Previous information breaches have involved clients seeking treatment for alcohol problems and abortions.
Medibank CEO David Koczkar said the people behind the hack were “regrettable.”
“We will continue to support all people affected by this crime through our Cyber Response Support Program. This includes mental health and wellbeing support, identity protection and financial hardship response,” he said.
“If customers are concerned they should contact our Cybercrime Helpline, our Mental Health Helpline, Beyond Blue, Lifeline or their GP.
“Anyone who downloads this data from the dark web, which is more complicated than searching for information on a public internet forum, and tries to profit from it, is committing a criminal offense.
“The Australian Federal Police have announced that law enforcement will take swift action against anyone attempting to take advantage of, exploit or commit a criminal offense using stolen Medibank customer information. We continue to work closely with the Australian Federal Police, who are focused on preventing the criminal misuse of this data as part of Operation Guardian.
“I apologize unreservedly to our customers.
“We remain resolutely focused on doing everything we can to ensure our customers are supported during this difficult time.”
Medibank could now expect legal action.
Maurice Blackburn announced over the weekend that he was launching an investigation to see if the company could be held liable for compromising customers’ personal information.
“Companies that hold their customers’ sensitive health information have an important obligation to ensure that the information is protected commensurate with the sensitivity of that data,” said lead attorney Andrew Watson.
“As the custodian of customers’ personal health information, Medibank has an increased responsibility to implement greater safeguards to protect the personal and health-related information collected from its customers, including appropriate security and surveillance systems to protect against unauthorized access or disclosure of that data.
“Medibank, ahm and international student customers will understandably feel very vulnerable and distressed as a result of this incident.”
Maurice Blackburn said the investigation will “carefully consider” whether customers have a “legal claim” against Medibank.
https://7news.com.au/news/cyber-security/cybersecurity-industry-to-face-shortage-of-workers-in-face-of-escalating-data-breaches-c-8849276 Cyber security jobs: Medibank, Optus hacks on Melbourne conference frontline as expert shortage looms