Govt preaches security to slack business

Critical infrastructure owners urged to do more

Businesses are still security slack according to feedback from the federal government's e-security seminars held today.

The NSW briefings are part of the government's national e-security week programs to raise security awareness in businesses, IT professionals and consumers.

Australian Federal Police High Tech Crime Centre federal agent Nigel Phair said businesses need to address security issues to maintain customer trust.

“The message is that businesses need to protect their networks,” Phair said.

If they are to make money from the digital economy, they need to ensure trust with their users [and] create privacy policies to establish a level of assurance.

“The building societies adhere to their regulatory frameworks and are doing their best to mitigate risk to their customers.”

The “IT professionals” briefing in Albury today was attended by delegates from university, finance and retail sectors, and follows educational sessions with local schools and home users.

Attorney General Robert McClelland said the sessions are part of the government's Trusted Information Sharing Network (TISN) which promotes security to operators of critical infrastructure.

One TISN initiative is the Critical Infrastructure Protection Modeling and Assessment program lead by the Attorney-General's department which examines the relationships and dependencies between critical infrastructure systems to demonstrate how failures in one sector affect other sector operations.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said in a statement: “e-security is a shared responsibility and government, businesses and individuals all have an important role to play in ensuring Australia has a robust e-security environment”.

The briefing follows a security report released yesterday that found cybercrime costs Australia businesses up to $650 million a year.

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