Australian firms are confident about withstanding cyberattacks—should they be?

A survey shows breach costs have gone down, but the reasons are unclear. And the cost of customer data lost through supplier breaches is rising.

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Smitt / Getty Images

Australian companies that suffer a data breach through a supplier suffer nearly four times the financial impact of standalone breaches, according to a new study that also found more than one in three Australian businesses has disclosed a data breach.

The average Australian cybersecurity attack costs around $519,000, according to Kaspersky’s newly released “IT Security Economics 2021” survey, which flagged the cumulative cost of expenses such as insurance premiums, compensation, penalties, hiring consultants, improving infrastructure, and training employees.

Fewer breaches, or just fewer breaches reported?

The new loss figures were down significantly, from $663,000 last year—although, said Kaspersky ANZ general manager Margrith Appleby, this may be due to an overall reduction in the reporting of data breaches.

Just 37% of companies said they had reported a data breach in the past year—lower than the 46% global figure and down markedly from 49% last year—and Appleby suggested the decline may be due to companies becoming “more proactive in eliminating the consequences of a data breach, which could mean there is less need to disclose it.”

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