Malwarebytes Global Study examines the true costs of Cybercrime in Australia

Credit: Artur Szczybylo |

Malwarebytes has released a report that examines the true cost of cybercrime on Australia businesses.

According to the report, the total annual security costs for Australian organisations are the lowest among the five nations surveyed at $861,789, far less than the global average of $1,167,178.

The report, which was conducted by Osterman Research polled 900 senior IT decision-makers and IT security professionals in Australia, Germany, the U.S., UK, and Singapore about the impact of cybercrime on their bottom line, and also looks at the IT security costs associated with remediation, hiring, recruiting and retention.

“As malware and cybercriminal activity advances and becomes more complex, the report highlights a growing need for Australian businesses to revisit how they identify, protect against and remediate malicious cyber activity,” said Malwarebytes Regional Director, Australia and New Zealand, Jim Cook.

According to the Malwarebytes Study, the average security budget for Australian organisations is set to increase. The average budget was nearly $462,000 for a 2,500-employee organisation in 2017, and will increase the most among the nations surveyed by almost 19 percent in 2018.

The Study also found that Australian organisations spent the least among the nations surveyed on remediating active compromises – 7.9 percent of their 2017 budget – significantly lower than the global average of 12.5 percent. The cost of remediating major events is the lowest among those surveyed.

“It is a concern that this report indicates that Australian businesses were more likely to experience ransomware infections than their global counterparts. Despite the increased risk facing Australian businesses, our budgets remain the lowest of the nations surveyed. This highlights how important it is for cybersecurity to remain a top priority for Australian organisations, especially as they look to set their business strategies and plans in motion for 2019,” added Cook.  

Australian organisations have experienced fewer security incidents over the past 12 months than the global average of the five nations surveyed, according to the report. What's more, Australian organisations would spend the least among the nations surveyed to remediate a “major” event if it were to occur – an average of just under $166,000 – which is significantly lower than the global average of nearly $290,000.

The report also found that salaries for security professionals in Australia are the highest of the nations surveyed. The average starting salary for an entry-level security professional in Australia is substantially higher than the global average. Despite this, the prevalence of black hat activity in Australia is similar to the global average of other nations surveyed at 41%.

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