Listed companies flag cyber-security upgrades

About 80% of leading Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) companies acknowledge their digital defences need improving, according to the exchange’s inaugural “cyber health check”.

 Take-up of cyber insurance is low, with only 38% holding a specific policy, even though 80% expect increased threats to their digital assets over the next year.

More than half of the companies experienced a rise in cyber attacks over the past year.

 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who launched the Cyber Security Strategy last year, has called for greater vigilance as the economy becomes more digitalised.

 “The results of this survey show we have come a long way… but we can always do more,” he said. “As the digital world and technology continues to evolve, so must both governments and business – large and small.

 Seventy-six of the top 100 listed companies from financial services, utilities, technology, consumer and other key sectors took part in the survey from last November to January.

 The ASX 100 Cyber Health Check is an industry-led initiative under the Cyber Security Strategy.

 About 20% of respondents have a dedicated cyber-security budget, 64% include it in the overall IT budget and 31% carry out annual reviews of cyber-security culture.

 “While the extent of cyber risk management varies broadly across companies, this report demonstrates a high level of risk awareness at the top levels of corporate Australia and a commitment to take further action,” the report says.

 “Significant progress has already been made, but there are gaps when it comes to building organisational preparedness and resilience.”