Boston, Massachusetts: Cyber attackers are targeting the Asia-Pacific region to expand their crimes, calling on Australia to do more to protect critical infrastructure and businesses from costly extortion.
IBM security chiefs have warned that hackers, traditionally targeting North America, have turned to Asia in the past two years, driving the average cost of data breaches to record levels as they target supply chains, access to key services and increase the cost of goods.
The US had the highest average total cost of a data breach last year, with each breach costing a record $9.4 million ($13.3 million), according to IBM’s latest figures. The average cost of a data breach in Australia reached $2.9 million over the same period, making it the 11th most costly country in the world for a cyber-attack.
Asia-Pacific became the most targeted region last year for the first time in records, according to data from the tech giant, with Australia, Japan and India the hardest hit regions.
The increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks across the region has prompted the company to call on governments to do more to protect businesses and consumers.
“Government must ensure that critical infrastructure supply chains build resilience to respond and recover in the event of a cyberattack,” said Chris Hockings, IBM Security’s chief technology officer for the Asia-Pacific region.
“They also need to define strong, implementable, cross-industry cybersecurity standards… and actively participate in meeting these standards themselves.”
The warning comes after a series of high-profile cyberattacks, such as the one against telecommunications giant Optus, in which the personal data of about 10 million customers — or about 40 percent of the population — were stolen last September. Medibank also suffered a massive data breach last year, which caused its value to drop $1.6 billion in just one week.