Why does cyber security matter?

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Australians are becoming more connected online. Eight in 10 Australians access the internet daily and have social media accounts. From our communications to surfing the web, nearly everyone is leaving digital footprints, often without being aware of it.

As people and systems become more connected, the amount and value of information online has increased. At the same time, efforts to steal and exploit information have also increased risks to our privacy, safety, economy and potentially our national security. Mitigating these risks is critical to increasing community trust and confidence in enjoying the benefits of technology in their everyday life. Importantly, this also protects Australia from serious and organised crime that presents a real economic risk and harm to the community.

Cybercrime is currently estimated to cost Australians more than $1 billion each year. Both public and private sector organisations have been compromised by state sponsored or non-state actors.

Beyond the upfront losses, this trend erodes public trust in the online ecosystem, preventing participation in the digital economy and detracting from its immense economic potential. For Australians to reap the benefits of the digital world, industry and governments need to work to improve trust, confidence and security in the cyber resilience of our digital infrastructure.

“The foundation elements of the digital economy, as for the ‘traditional’ economy, must be security and reliability. If people cannot rely on digital transactions they will be left behind as the economy increasingly becomes digital in nature. Trust is the key enabler of the digital economy. This implies strong cyber security, strong identity security, and strong financial security – and the accompanying services, platforms and protocols to support these three things.”

Submission to the Digital Economy Strategy Consultation paper by Australia Post, NOVEMBER 2017