An emerging cyber threat could put your privacy at risk, according to security experts.
It’s an issue that’s affecting Australia’s financial system, as well as government systems.
And while most of the major banks have been targeted by cyber attacks, the big four — Westpac, ANZ, ANU and Macquarie — are not among the big three.
The big banks have faced the same problems, but are more likely to be at risk than other financial institutions because they’re so central to Australian life.
The Australian Financial Services Commission says that the big banks are likely to face more breaches than the other banks.
As a result, a major bank can’t rely on the security of its IT systems alone, said ANU security expert Professor Ian Gee.
“The security of a bank is an integrated, integrated part of the financial system.
And it’s all about what’s being done by the organisation and what the IT systems are doing, so it’s really important for the banks to be well-informed and well-managed,” he said.”
It’s really easy for the IT system to fail and then it’s not as easy to repair.
So that’s why I think a lot of the big bank have a lot to gain from being well-versed in the systems that they have, because then they can really put their own systems at risk.”
Professor Gee said that it’s possible the banks could face cyber attacks as early as next year, and that they might need to rethink their security posture.
He said a lack of awareness on how to deal with cyber threats has meant the banks are being hit with attacks without a response.
ANU security analyst Professor Michael Leach said the big five banks were vulnerable to cyber attacks because they were central to our lives.
We need to be more proactive in our security posture, because if we don’t we’re not going to have the resources that we need to protect ourselves against cyber threats, Professor Leach told AM.
“So if you’re an individual that’s not in control of your own life, that’s going to be a concern, and if you have a large organisation, and it’s got a lot going on, the risk will be that you will be at greater risk of a cyber attack than you would be if you had a small organisation,” he added.
Professor Leach, who is also a research fellow at the Australian National University, said that in recent years there has been a surge in cyber attacks on Australia’s major banks, and a lack and inability to deal effectively with them.
“What we’re seeing now is the banks having a lack in their response capability,” he explained.
This was particularly true with the banks being at a higher risk of cyber attacks due to their position in the financial sector.
If you are a large financial institution with many customers, and they have a security posture that doesn’t work, it’s going be very hard to manage that threat.
And so you’ve got to have a whole range of systems in place that can mitigate and mitigate and protect against cyber attacks,” he continued.
In response, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has recommended that major financial institutions introduce measures to make them more secure.
But Professor Leaching said that even with the recommendations, the major financial systems will need to get a lot more sophisticated to stop cyber attacks from taking over their systems.
A lack of cyber security awareness is also putting the big six banks at risk of losing customers, he said, and could mean a return to more traditional methods of payment.
Professor Leaches said it was also important that the major banking organisations were not only well-educated in their cyber security, but also knew how to respond to cyber threats.
One way to do that, he suggested, was to have their customers send an SMS alert to their bank, and the banks would then check to see if they had received the message.
Alternatively, the banks can use other security protocols, such as mobile phone encryption, to protect their customers.”
We’re not in the position where the big institutions are not using their own technology to protect against threats, because that’s what they need to do to make sure they’re not being hacked, but they’re having to do it on a global basis, which is very different,” he noted.
So if the banks don’t understand how to protect themselves against cyber-attacks, they’re going to lose customers, Professor Gee added.
And Professor Leaches warns that if these cyber attacks were to become widespread, banks could be in serious trouble.
They may have to turn to other financial services companies, such at the big credit card companies, to pay their bills, he explained, and in the process, lose some of the customers they’ve already lost.