Privacy dominates Australians’ concerns as cybercriminals pummel banks

Major bank blocking “tens of millions” of attacks monthly in fight to protect customers’ data.

A hacker targets a sitting duck  >  easy target / easy pickings / victim targeting
Vasif Bagirov / Getty Images / Thinkstock

Australian banking giant the National Australia Bank (NAB) has been blocking “tens of millions” of cybercriminal attacks per month, the company’s chief executive has revealed as a new consumer survey confirms Australians are more worried about privacy when choosing a digital service than reliability, convenience, and price.

Some of the attacks are “very severe”, NAB CEO Ross McEwan said during an online panel discussion about the future of business post the COVID-19 pandemic. “They won’t just be happening to us as a bank,” he said. “They are happening right across the board, and we need to be incredibly vigilant—and, more important, working together.”

Collaboration needs to extend across industries, he said, noting that the NAB is one of nearly two dozen banks, energy, and other major firms working with Telstra and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) on the Cleaner Pipes initiative—which was recently complemented by an initiative to block SMS spoofing.

“There’s a major piece of work that needs to be done together to stop these activity players coming into the country, and to stop them at [the] source,” McEwan said.

Many financial firms are not meeting consumers’ privacy expectations

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