Call for More Australian Government Cybersecurity Funding


A recent poll conducted by exposure management business Tenable shows that 79% of Australian IT and cybersecurity professionals think the Australian government could do more, including boosting funding, to reduce cybersecurity risks.

The data, collected in partnership with Pure Profile, comes from a poll of over 200 IT and cybersecurity leaders across Australia’s insurance, banking, education, healthcare and transport sectors. The respondents said cyber funding in the recent federal budget was somewhat adequate but insufficient in addressing evolving cyber threats.

In particular, IT leaders emphasise the need for increased federal funding for proactive cybersecurity, with 79% advocating for a stronger focus on preventive cybersecurity measures. While 60% of respondents expressed confidence in the government’s ability to tackle cyber-related challenges due to the recent budget announcement, almost 40% of stakeholders believe it falls short of meeting all requirements.

The results from the poll offer some insights into whether the Australian government has gone far enough to address the evolving cyber threats enterprises face and the risk mitigation strategies they can take against financial loss for cyber incidents.

The most recent Australian Signals Directorate Report shows that cybercrime is increasing for enterprises, up 23%, with an average report every six minutes, compared to one report every seven minutes in the previous year. The average cost of cybercrime has also increased by up to 14%. The poll also found a strong correlation between proactive risk management and up to 15% reduction in cyber insurance premiums.

Australian IT leaders are focusing more on preventative measures such as access controls and monitoring (64%), regular software updates and patch management (64%) and regular employee training and education on cybersecurity best practices (60%) as the top risk mitigation strategies against financial loss for cyber incidents.

Adopting these measures is proving beneficial to organisations in areas such as lower cyber insurance premiums due to reduced cyber risks, with 44% of IT leaders experiencing reductions ranging from 5% to 15%, underscoring the financial advantages of investing in preventive cybersecurity measures.

“While it’s encouraging to see that a significant portion of IT leaders believe the federal budget is addressing cyber threats, the strong call for preventive measures cannot be ignored,” said Tenable’s Australia and New Zealand Country Manager Scott McKinnel. “Organisations that adopt proactive risk management strategies not only enhance their security but also benefit financially through reduced insurance premiums. Both public and private sectors must continue to collaborate and prioritise preventive measures to stay ahead of emerging threats.”