Corporate bosses have nominated cybersecurity as the biggest worry keeping them awake at night as hackers continue to ramp up activity, with recent attacks on St Vincent’s Health and Victoria’s court system.
A report from KPMG, Keeping us up at night, which surveyed more than 300 Australian CEOs in October last year, nominated dealing with cyber risks as the top priority for 2024 and the next three to five years.
KPMG chief executive Andrew Yates said this reflected the rash of significant recent cyberattacks, which began in October 2022 with the loss of sensitive customer health records at Medibank, and threatened to cripple Christmas shoppers last November with an attack on DP World ports.
“I think it’s just the increased awareness that this is an issue that is with us, and it’s not going to go away,” he said.
The result mirrors the findings of an Australian Financial Review survey of Australia’s top CEOs, published this month that found cybersecurity was the biggest risk not getting the attention it deserved.
Just this week, Victoria’s court system was hit by a ransomware attack, with hackers potentially accessing archives containing testimony from highly sensitive cases.
Just before Christmas, St Vincent’s Health was hit with an attack by a sophisticated group of cybercriminals, who gained access to the organisation’s data through a compromised account.
Yates emphasised that both business and government needed to collaborate to deal effectively with the rising threat from hackers, which include state-sponsored actors.
“There’s not a competitive advantage in having superior risk management in this space. I think it’s a case of needing to invest and work together as a business community, along with the government as well.”
Hacking was not the only tech issue highlighted by the corporate bosses, who also nominated digital savvy staff, extracting value from digital transformation, and new technologies such as generative AI as significant challenges for the years ahead.
One of the surprises KPMG identified was the drop-off in attracting employee talent as an issue, which emerged as top priority last year. In 2023, 74 per cent of respondents nominated it as a significant problem, but that dropped to 42 per cent this year as the huge intake of more than 500,000 migrants last year added to the labour pool.
“The one area that surprised me was just how much of a large drop we saw with regards to talent acquisition, and how quickly businesses have been able to manage their labour demand,” said KPMG chief economist Dr Brendan Rynne.
While unemployment had remained low, Rynne said this partly reflected the skills migrants had brought in.
“You can see that businesses now have a deeper pool of people to employ, so the skill sets [are] becoming a more important differentiator,” he said.
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Source: Thanks smh.com