Computer Crime increasingly prevalent

A computer crime survey released this week (23/02/99) has revealed that at least one in three Australian companies have been the targets of computer crime.

The survey, conducted by the Victoria Police Computer Crime Squad (VPCCS) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, reveals that 33% of Australian companies admit to experiencing an IT security breach in the past 12 months.

This result does not differ significantly from a similar survey conducted last year.

The real figure could be much greater due in part to the fact that many companies fail to report computer crime.

"Due to potential bad publicity and loss of public confidence, organisations are reluctant to release information relating to their losses from computer crime" said David Caldwell (David Caldwell), officer in charge, VPCCS.

"I suspect that the real number [of computer crimes] is significantly higher" said KingsleyThe survey revealed that 83 per cent of breaches were committed internally, by employees, consultants or contractors.

58 per cent of those who had experienced breaches had been subjected to intrusions from external sources.

According to the survey 75 per cent of attacks appeared to be random, opportunistic intrusions.

Costs resulting from repairing systems after intrusions, and theft, had topped $100,000 for four per cent respondents, and topped $10,000 for 12 per cent of respondents.

Kingsley advised organisations to analyse their security risks and identify the most significant risks. Then, he said organisations could design technological and procedural responses to risk such as implementation of security hardware and software, implementation of security policies and standards, and provision of employee awareness training.

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