Cybersecurity - AUCloud

The past two years have accelerated technological advancement, leaving a significant impact on the cybersecurity industry. Australian cyber security threats continue to rise at an alarming rate, placing increasing importance on the Australian government to develop a robust IT security sector to protect national resources.

While a majority of Australian organisations are facing security challenges with remote workforces, many are also implementing a zero-trust strategy as an effective way to protect remote users and IT resources while monitoring access controls for sensitive data.

With the global cost of cybercrime expected to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, organisations must remain vigilant and prepare for increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks. Navigating the complexities of an evolving security landscape with cybercriminals adopting new tactics can be extremely difficult and involve risks. As many organisations lack a robust cybersecurity strategy, a majority of them are falling prey to these malicious attacks.

The Cyber Statistics in Australia for 2022 has been quite alarming for Australian organisations. Every 10 minutes, a cybercrime targets an Australian organisation, with 43% of attacks targeting small businesses. On average, only 5% of organisational workloads are adequately protected, while 95% of cyber breaches result from human error.

In addition, there has been a 15% increase in ransomware for Australian organisations, with a 54% increase in business e-mail compromise and a 75% increase in cyberattacks resulting in financial loss.

With every passing second, businesses need to start rethinking their cybersecurity strategies to ensure business continuity. Every 11 seconds, a ransomware attack occurs, resulting in at least 9.6 days of average downtime for Australian organisations.

The Rise of Ransomware

Ransomware can be one of the most intimidating security threats in today’s digital landscape. It’s a form of malicious software designed to encrypt files, rendering systems and data unusable until the organisation pays the ransom.

With the increasing frequency and sophistication of ransomware attacks, the threat continues to evolve with the rise of double extortion ransomware. This form of ransomware takes the security threat one step further.

Consistent with traditional ransomware attacks, cybercriminals encrypt a victim’s data and demand a significant ransom in exchange for a decryptor. Instead of simply demanding a ransom in return for the sensitive data, the hackers make an additional demand for a ransom, threatening that they’ll publish the data online.

While it may not be a new threat, the rate at which ransomware attacks are growing has made it one of the most significant threats to organisations in Australia and around the world. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC)’s Annual Cyber Threat Report 2020-21 recorded a 15%  increase in cybercrime reports in the same financial year.

The ACSC has attributed the increase in ransomware to the increasing willingness of cybercriminals to extort money from vulnerable organisations. These extortion attacks involve stealing and encrypting valuable data to block organisational access or releasing sensitive data to the public.

Over the last few years, ransomware incidents have targeted a range of sectors, including professional, scientific and technical organisations, and healthcare industries, leaving a widespread impact.

While data backup tools are essential for preventing traditional ransomware attacks, it is crucial to remain vigilant for double extortion threats. Additional security solutions, such as scalable and sovereign cloud backups, resilient disaster recovery plans, and preemptive employee training, are crucial in today’s landscape. With the right strategies, organisations can minimise their vulnerability to cyberattacks.

Ensuring Cybersecurity While Remote Working

COVID-19 has redefined normalcy in technological advancement and business operations. Owing to the global lockdown in 2020, most Australian organisations were forced to adopt remote working solutions to ensure business continuity. As COVID-19 regulations relaxed , many organisations chose to either adopt a hybrid working model or continue remote work.

Many reasons contribute to this change in business operations, such as increased productivity, convenience, and cost efficiency. However, these benefits have also brought significant challenges in managing information security and redefining organisational vulnerability.

Lack of protective measures, such as firewalls, routers, continuous monitoring, and access management through a dedicated information security team, can create security challenges. Given how abruptly organisations switched to remote working solutions, there is also the risk that they overlooked key elements of data security, which allowed cybercriminals to seize the opportunity and heighten their attack strategies.

Information security teams need to identify and fix vulnerabilities associated with a distributed workforce, implement appropriate security controls, increase monitoring capabilities and improve corporate cyber security trainning  to ensure employees are aware of the evolving cyber threat landscape.

As a dispersed workforce defines the new normal, organisations must consider numerous issues including the security impact of hybrid workers. When employees access their organisation’s servers from multiple locations and devices, vulnerabilities are inevitable. Endpoint, Identity and Access Management solutions are crucial for multi-layered security.

As workers move between remote, public and office networks, adequate employee training also strengthens cyber defence.

Next generation of Supply Chain Attacks Surge

Supply chain attacks are undoubtedly an enduring feature of the cyber landscape, as cybercriminals continue to leverage third-party vendors and technology to penetrate their organisational workload. While the transition to remote working has amplified this threat, many supply chain companies that dominated the cyber landscape also saw millions of dollars in ransomware demands.

Organisations are now witnessing a surge in software supply chain attacks as cybercriminals find new ways to maximise their threat radius, automate their activities, and avoid detection. It leaves businesses looking for ways to secure their sensitive data and workload, moving towards more significant regulations – particularly in critical industries.

Preventing & Preparing for New Data Regulations

As organisations progress in their digital transformation journey, we continue to see a higher demand for data protection. In a digital-first world, stricter standards on data privacy are inevitable to maintain business continuity.

Ransomware is the fastest-growing and one of the most damaging types of cybercrime. Despite this, many organisations are still severely unprepared. With immense pressure to deter ransomware attacks and cyber extortion while holding cybercriminals accountable, governments are directing their effort to dedicated task forces and regulatory reform with a detailed Ransomware Action Plan.

In October 2021, the Australian Federal Police announced that it established a new multi-agency law enforcement taskforce – Operation Orcus – to centralise law enforcement efforts against ransomware groups.

The Australian Government’s Ransomware Action Plan also includes a standalone aggravated offence for cybercriminals targeting critical infrastructure. In the evolving sanctions landscape, organisations must understand the regulatory requirements and prohibitions around engaging with cybercriminals.

To understand risk and implement successful cybersecurity strategies, organisations are building resilient security architectures to protect their assets while ensuring adequate employee training. Global organisations and governments – both federal and private – have invested billions in detecting ransomware. Although a crucial element of resilient infrastructure, detection can take months before data breaches come to light.

Organisations are now leaning into machine learning, and AI-based malware as ransomware attacks continue to escalate in scope and financial impact.

The Increasing Need For Cloud Security

While remote working generated many cybersecurity trends, it also created a greater dependence on cloud solutions. Rapid cloud migration has become a key focus over the past two years.

Even leading cybersecurity defence strategies are no match for some advanced ransomware campaigns. With attackers targeting backups, organisations need to focus on advanced security measures to protect their sensitive data and workloads.

Understanding the emerging data protection and cybersecurity challenges is crucial before switching to cloud platforms. With multi-cloud environments, enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities, and an increased demand for cloud-to-edge applications, cloud technology can offer endless benefits ranging from limitless scalability and agility to sovereign data protection.

As Australian organisations mitigate ransomware risk with strategic cloud solutions and new-wave technologies, they can prevent – or at their worst – recover from a cyberattack.

Ensure Cybersecurity Against Sophisticated Cyber Threats With AUCloud

Cyberattacks are constantly evolving, which can make data protection seem daunting. At AUCloud, our experts guide you from start to finish,  helping you achieve  efficient, effective, and strategic alignment in support of your business goals. .

With Australia’s increasing focus on data protection and sovereignty, transitioning to a sovereign cloud environment has become a crucial step. A key mitigation strategy is ensuring all your sensitive data and organisational workloads remain in Australia under Australian jurisdictional control – always.

At its core, a sovereign cloud ensures your data remains in Australia under Australian  jurisdiction, mitigating risk  from third-parties . It is designed from the outset to meet specific security frameworks and compliance standards that deliver sovereign data protection.

As the first VMware Sovereign Cloud Provider in Australia with only a handful of recognised VMware Providers in this space, AUCloud services have been proven to be highly secure, with a range of protective strategies  mitigating the risk of cyber attacks.

If you would like  to discuss how prepared your organisation is for a ransomware attack and leverage limitless scalability, high-speed data transfers, improved efficiency, minimised downtime, and sovereign data protection, talk to an AUCloud representative today. Contact us at 1800 282 568 or email us at