April 19, 2024
Australian Regulators to Enforce Cyber attack Reporting for Businesses
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Australian Regulators to Enforce Cyber attack Reporting for Businesses

Australian authorities are set to enforce a mandate requiring local companies to maintain full transparency and promptly report any ransomware cyberattacks on their operations. The nation faced a substantial economic loss of $2.59 billion due to cybercrimes in 2021.

As outlined in a report by The Australian on November 13, the upcoming national cybersecurity strategy, slated for revelation this month, will introduce a compulsory reporting system. Under this system, local businesses will be obligated to inform the government of ransomware cyberattacks. Notably, non-compliance with this requirement will not incur fines on the companies.

Despite the mandatory reporting, companies will retain the option to pay ransoms. However, the new National Cyber Security Coordinator, Air Marshal Darren Goldie, has publicly discouraged such payments. Australia, in October, joined nearly 40 other nations in pledging not to pay ransomware demands directed at government agencies. Prior to implementing the mandatory reporting system, the government plans to engage with the business community for input on its design.

Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil clarified the approach, stating, “We’ll create a ransomware playbook that will provide clear guidance to businesses and citizens on how to prepare for, deal with, and bounce back from ransom demands.”

Ransomware attacks persist as a significant challenge in the digital economy. In July, the United States Department of Justice announced an expansion of its crypto crimes team with a focus on combating ransomware crimes. According to Chainalysis, wallets involved in ransomware attacks often utilize crypto mining pools for laundering funds obtained through exploits. The research firm reported an increase in the value sent from ransomware wallets to mining pools, highlighting an instance where an exchange wallet received $158.3 million from ransomware addresses since 2018.

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