• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Australian Govt. Aims to Secure Citizens from Online Threats

Oct 24, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

The Department of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) this week began a weeklong campaign to protect business and online users against Internet threats.

It is all part of National E-Security Awareness Week from Oct. 23-27, 2006.

As part of the awareness campaign, DCITA launched, which provides common-sense advice to ensure users are protected online.

It is a follow-up to the GetNetSafe campaign launched by the Internet Industry Association.

The GetNetSafe campaign provides trial downloads of security software with the aim of increasing Internet protection and is available at

IT Minister Sen. Helen Coonan said E-Security Awareness Week is part of the federal government’s effort to enable Australians to put in place basic steps to protect themselves.

A steering committee was established to launch E-Security Awareness Week, which included the attorney general’s department, the Australian High Tech Crime Center, Telstra BigPond, eBay, McAfee, Microsoft, Sophos and Symantec.

Sean Richmond, senior technical consultant for Sophos, said a recent poll of small business found many did not protect their business adequately because they did not fully understand online threats.

Richmond said this is because computer threats have changed considerably over the past 12 months to offer highly targeted attacks at small groups of Internet users.

“Small businesses are especially good targets for cybercriminals because they are often unaware of how to protect their information while online,” Richmond said.

“Cybercriminals are using spyware programs, Trojan horses and phishing campaigns to acquire corporate and personal information in the hope of stealing significant amounts of money from their victims.

“It is very encouraging to see initiatives such as the National E-Security Awareness Week and the ‘GetNetSafe’ campaign, which should help in promoting awareness of online threats and the steps Internet users can take to protect themselves and their businesses.”

As part of National E-Security Awareness Week, Sophos is holding educational seminars nationwide in Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide and Darwin.

By Michael Crawford, Computerworld Australia

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