IMT sector was Australia's most targeted in 2023: report


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Friday, 17 May, 2024

IMT sector was Australia's most targeted in 2023: report

The information, media and technology (IMT) sector was the Australian industry most targeted by cybercriminals last year, according to a new report from Ensign InfoSecurity.

The company’s latest Cyber Threat Landscape Report found that about 20% of attacks observed by the company targeted the IMT sector. This was followed by engineering and construction at 11.5%, retail at 9.1%, government at 8.5%, and financial services and insurance at 7.9%.

According to the report, IMT’s status as the prime target of cyber threats could be attributed to Australia’s significant digital growth over the last decade, which is exposing the nation to potential cyber risks.

Meanwhile, extorting a ransom was the primary pursuit of the majority (52.7%) of cyber attacks in Australia during the year. Other popular primary goals included data leaks (16.4%) and denial of service (12.1%).

Ensign InfoSecurity said this year’s report marks the first time Australian statistics have been added.

“The inclusion of Australia in our latest Cyber Threat Landscape report marks a significant milestone in our expansion efforts and the strategic importance of the Australian market to our operations,” said Charles Ng, Head of Global Markets at Ensign InfoSecurity. “Many of the trends observed in 2023 will continue into 2024, and possibly even 2025. We hope that by publishing of this data, organisations can better understand the threats, how attackers think and operate, and use our recommendations to enhance their cybersecurity posture.”

Globally, the report found that the average dwell time, defined as how long the attacker stays inside their victim’s networks before being discovered, fell sharply across industries. The maximum dwell time plummeted from 1095 days to 49 days.

Finally, the report uncovered the emerging threat posed by hacktivism — or cyber attacks conducted by individuals or groups in support of a cause or ideology — which is becoming more rampant as the attack landscape evolves.

Image credit: iStock.com/anyaberkut

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