Survey shows surge in Australian businesses boosting cyber defences

Businesses outline top concerns

Survey shows surge in Australian businesses boosting cyber defences


By Roxanne Libatique

A recent survey conducted by software research site Capterra has indicated a significant increase in Australian businesses enhancing their cybersecurity infrastructure to counter potential threats.

The Capterra 2024 Data Security Survey provides an overview of the escalating cybersecurity landscape in Australia. It was conducted online in November 2023 among over 700 respondents from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, and the UK.

The survey revealed that one-third (33%) of the respondents encountered security breaches in 2023, coinciding with notable data breaches at Optus and Medibank.

Laura Burgess, a research analyst at Capterra, emphasised the surge in investment in AI-driven solutions, coupled with a growing awareness to address weak password practices.

“As cybersecurity threats continue, businesses are encouraged to adopt a multi-faceted approach. A combination of IT security investment, workforce education, and strong security policies would help ensure an improved defence against these risks,” she said.

Concerns surrounding cybersecurity

The survey identified advanced email phishing attacks as the primary concern among respondents, with 51% expressing concern about the susceptibility of companies and their personnel to this threat.

Other security concerns included advanced ransomware attacks (37%), AI-enhanced attacks (36%), business email compromise (28%), and software supply chain attacks (23%).

In response to the evolving threat landscape, more than half (58%) of Australian businesses reported an increase in IT security spending in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Challenges with weak password practices

Despite the increasing adoption of cybersecurity technologies, weak password practices remained a persistent challenge.

Nearly half (45%) of respondents admitted to using the same password for multiple accounts or software, posing a heightened risk of exposure. Remote employees were particularly vulnerable, as their personal networks may lack the same level of security as corporate domains.

Capterra emphasised the need for cybersecurity training to raise awareness and comprehensively address this risk, noting that only 36% of respondents reported raising security concerns with their IT department.

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