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(Australian Associated Press)
Australian governments and businesses need to toughen their defences against the sort of cyber attack that crippled the census last year, according to financial services firm Deloitte.
Australia already has the fifth-highest level of web applications attacks of all nations, and Deloitte predicts that so-called distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks will become larger in scale, harder to mitigate and more frequent in 2017.
Deloitte is predicting 10 million total attacks per year and says they are increasingly common because of an explosion in the number of connected devices, quicker internet speeds and the online availability of instructions and code for would-be hackers.
“Any defence that is predictable can be specifically targeted by attackers,” Deloitte consulting partner Stuart Scotis said in the firm’s annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications predictions.
“Preparation should include the design of deceptive approaches that establish a false reality for adversaries and can help disperse adversarial traffic.”
The ABS website was crashed in August by a series of DDoS attacks, dramatically reducing the amount and quality of census data gathered.
Australian companies and government organisations will need to implement more dynamic and broad-ranging strategies to mitigate the risk of DDoS, the report said.
The Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy estimates that cybercrime costs Australia $17 billion annually.
Deloitte also predicts that, with global sales tipped to slide 10 per cent, tablet sales may decline in Australia for the first time in 2017 and that the country’s TV advertising revenue should remain flat on 2016 levels.
It warned, however, that Australian millennials now watch more streamed programming than live TV.
“TV holds its own, particularly among retailers, automotive dealers, insurance and food sectors because of the large audience reach and impact on brand awareness and long-term perceptions,” said Clare Harding, Deloitte senior TMT partner.
“For Australian consumers, this influence is dropping.”
Another prediction – albeit one more long term – is that automatic emergency braking will be compulsory for new road vehicles on Australian roads by 2025.
“Australian cars without automatic braking are expected to account for a disproportionate share of accidents in the future, undermining insurance and CTP economics,” Deloitte TMT practice leader Stuart Johnston said.
“Forward-thinking insurers that offer reduced premiums for AEB safety features could also have the potential to encourage a wider adoption of the technology.”