The healthcare sector was determined to be the most affected sector due to data breaches across Australia, as per the report from the 2023 ForgeRock Identity Breach.
It is well to be noted that cyberattacks in the healthcare sector contributed 16% of the 890 data breaches that were recorded in the country in 2022. This was followed by finance accounting for 13% and legal, management, and accounting services for 7%, according to the report, which cited the data that was compiled by the government.
The report stated that personal contact information such as home addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses happened to be the most regularly sought-after information in data breaches that were recorded in the first half of 2022. This was similar to the results that came out in the preceding two years.
Other sensitive data that was mostly targeted happened to be identity information, health details, and tax file numbers.
Throughout all the nations that were studied, which also included the likes of the UK, Germany, and Singapore, ForgeRock opined that various sectors went on to report varying levels of resilience when it came to cyberattacks, with government, financial services, and retail showing lesser breaches because of robust authentication practises. On the other hand, education and healthcare showed weaker cybersecurity.
The report mentioned that targeted attacks when it comes to third-party service providers in healthcare and education go on to demonstrate that there is a need to deepen cybersecurity practises throughout their respective ecosystems. Although some sectors have indeed gone on to become more resilient, others remain constantly vulnerable to attack.
Apparently, in Australia alone, there have been organisations that have filed more than 76,000 cybercrime reports for the financial year 2021–22, as per the official records, which is up by 13%, indicating previously that there were cyberattacks that got reported every seven minutes throughout the country. Following high-profile cases such as the Optus data breach that took place in September last year and the Medibank data breach that happened in October of the same year and led to the spread of sensitive customer information across the dark web, there indeed happens to be a rising concern when it comes to the local threat landscape.
The growing risk is met with a rising budget for cybersecurity by the government; however, ForgeRock noted that there is still scope where more can be done, especially when it comes to education, so as to help the investments deliver results to the business that are in every way meaningful.
Taking into account emergent cyber threats that exist across sectors, ForgeRock has gone on to recommend focusing on eight strategic areas so as to prevent data breaches, such as a zero-trust framework as well as AI-driven threat protection systems.
The report also established how one stolen identity of a single authorised user can go on to trigger a huge breach and that third-party breaches are posing a major concern across all the nations that have been studied.