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The Ai Group has released its Cyber Security Survey 2023, which shows that Australian businesses are well informed of the risks of cyber-attacks, and have decisively moved from awareness to action.

The Cyber Security Survey 2023 aims to show the unique opportunities for Australia to lift the cyber security capabilities of all businesses, with a focus on medium-sized enterprises and the digital skills of the workforce.

The report found that Australian businesses are conscious and concerned, but moderately confident about cyber security.

Cyber has become a top investment priority for business leaders, and the majority of Australian businesses are seen to have deployed a diverse range of cyber defences sourced from both external vendors and in-house IT teams. 

But the report said that there is still room for an increase in cyber protections across all businesses in the Australian economy, and that we are only as strong as the weakest link in the national cyber ecosystem.

“Cyber-attacks on large businesses have been a focus of public, policy and commercial attention – and rightly so, given their data-rich operations and complex supply chain linkages. However, our research shows they also have resources and capabilities to invest in cyber security practices,” the Ai Group said.

“Medium businesses appear to be the ‘missing middle’ when it comes to the national cyber ecosystem. Our research shows they have a similar cyber risk profile to large businesses, but fewer resources to invest in leading-edge security practices. 

“This is borne out by data from the Australian Cyber Security Centre, which found that medium businesses carried the highest average cost per cybercrime, losing over $88,000 compared to over $39,000 for small businesses, and over $62,000 for large businesses.”

The Ai Group also found that people are as important as technology when it comes to cyber security. 

“Technology solutions are only as good as the people using them, but the digital capability of some segments of the workforce is concerningly low. With only one-in-three small businesses investing in staff cyber skills, there is need to make workforce investments a greater part of our cyber defence,” the Ai Group warned.

If you have any queries about the report, contact the Ai Group on economics@aigroup.com.au

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