Australian tech companies react to the 2021 Budget
Jim Cook, ANZ Regional Director, Attivo Networks.
“There is much work to do in Australia in terms of budgeting for cybersecurity. The world is changing, borders are strengthening and nation states are using the internet to gain access to secrets. The US recently pointed the finger at some Russian organisations for the devastating SolarWinds attacks. We will no doubt see more of this in the years to come and the Australian government is prudent in its budget decision to continue investing in cybersecurity defences, although interesting that there is more budget available to promote electronic billing than there is for Cyber. However, it would be great to see better assistance for businesses of all sizes to protect their employees, customers and assets.
Budget funding, awareness and technology solutions are sorely needed today to support Australian business cybersecurity. It’s unrealistic to expect small businesses owners to stay on top of the cyber threat so making it easy and cost effective to access commercial organisations who can manage their security for them is critical. More tax incentives would certainly lift the priority in business owners’ minds and it’s important to remember that small organisations often service larger ones – and have direct connections into them. This can be seen as a weak link in supply chain security and so SMBs should be considered to be as vulnerable and critical as larger organisations. For larger organisations, the continued focus on holding the board accountable for loss of customer data and providing a framework of controls against which the organisation can be audited has proven to promote a better level of behaviour and investment.
At the same time, demand for cyber security skills needs to be satisfied with new talent entering the ranks of the industry. Funding is sorely needed to remove the “hoodie” wearing image of cyber, attract those already in IT to consider a move across to cybersecurity as well as encourage more women and those living in remote communities to consider a career in this exciting sector. As Australians, we can’t rely on importing overseas talent to fill the demand so we must invest in our own or risk being vulnerable to attack.”
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