Australia's internet economy suffers from more hacker attacks per website than its US counterpart, according to Simon Perry, vice president of business software company Computer Associates.
Perry said that although Australia's corporate "domain count" was around one-fiftieth of the Americans, Australia received more hacks per business.
This estimate did not include cyber attacks on personal and non-corporate web pages, he qualified.
Perry said this did not mean that corporate Australia paid less attention to internet security than corporate America. Rather, US IT security budgets -- generated by wealthier financial backers and often in excess of $US1 billion -- meant that US web-enabled companies were able to deploy more thorough security systems.
He said Australian security budgets typically did not allow for as thorough online security. "No one has an unlimited budget," he said. "There's no magic number."
Perry warned businesses against following advice from vendors that claim to offer complete security solutions for fixed prices. The oft-heard vendor claim that "antivirus plus firewall gives total security" is completely false, he said.
Computer Associates conducted "ethical" site penetration tests for e-businesses, and had never once failed to penetrate a company's electronic security system. Recent penetration tests had seen CA sending bogus emails from company managing directors to executive staff calling for urgent meetings, Perry said.
CA also conducted "social engineering" penetration tests, in which CA asked target company staff to submit highly confidential information over the telephone or directly to imposters masquerading as repairmen.