Australia victim of more computer-associated crime than US

This estimate did not include cyber-attacks on personal and non-corporate web pages, he qualified. Perry said the estimate did not mean corporate Australia paid less attention to internet security than corporate America. Rather, US IT security budgets -- often in excess of $US1 billion -- generated by wealthier financial backers meant US Web enabled companies were able to deploy more thorough security systems, he said.

He said Australian security budgets typically did not allow for as thorough online security.

"No one has an unlimited budget," he said. "There's no magic number."

Perry warned businesses against following advice from vendors who claimed to offer complete security solutions for fixed prices. The oft-heard vendor claim that "anti virus plus firewall gives total security" is completely false, he said.

Perry said CA conducted "ethical" site penetration tests for e-businesses - and had never once failed to penetrate a company's electronic security system. Recent penetration tests had seen CA sending bogus emails from company managing directors to executive staff, calling for urgent meetings.

CA also conducted "social engineering" penetration tests, whereby CA successfully asked company staff to submit highly confidential information over the telephone or directly to CA imposters dressed as repairmen, he said.

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