One in 10 lose $1M or more from cyber crime

Many attacks targeting merger and acquisition information, according to PwC

One in 10 Australian organisations have lost more than $1 million after falling victim to cyber crime in the past two years.

This was a key finding of PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey released today on economic crime in Australia. It found that cyber crime was the second most frequent economic crime experienced by organisations in Australia and abroad.

Asset misappropriation was the most frequent with procurement fraud ranking third. One third (33 per cent) of all economic crimes in 2014 were cyber attacks, up from 30 per cent in 2012.

Almost half (43 per cent) of the organisations surveyed ranked the theft or loss or personal identifiable information as the number one concern should a cyber crime attack occur. A further 33 per cent were most concerned about the theft of intellectual property or data in general.

PwC partner Richard Bergman said cyber crime is not just an IT issue.

Read more: Australia signs up to Europe Convention on Cybercrime

“Recent high profile data breaches such as the US Target breach have increased the level of awareness and concern among senior management and the board. But the majority of cyber crime incidents still don’t make the headlines.

“Information is valuable and attackers are determined to get it. Many of the attacks we’ve recently investigated have targeted merger acquisition information, and what surprises many organisations is how long attackers are inside their networks before the attack occurs,” Bergman said.

The report also said determining who is accountable for cyber across organisations needs to be addressed. Recent cyber breaches have seen senior executives standing down as well as CIOs, the report said.

The report found all forms of economic crime are up, with 57 per cent of Australian companies reporting an incident in the past two years. Globally, the number of incidents reported was lower at 32 per cent and in the Asia-Pacific region only 37 per cent.

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Tags PwC’s Global Economic Crime SurveyPwCcybercrimeRichard Bergman

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