2017 saw Australia sign an agreement with Thailand in a bid to boost regional community security and they are now working in tandem with other Asian countries such as Singapore and China in a bid to tackle cybercrime within the Asia Pacific region.

It is clear that Australia is now intensifying cooperation with Asia to boost cyber security which has increasingly become a problem within the country and in fact Asia Pacific and the world as a whole.

A massive rise in online activity

The digital age has seen a massive rise in online activity and it is now vital to the success of many industries and businesses within Australia and the nation continues to be more connected online every single day and with this of course the risk of cybersecurity issues rises.

The internet is now used by most people on a daily basis, in fact in 2016 Australians spent a total of $21.65 billion shopping online for goods and services.

Many industries and businesses also rely heavily or even solely on their online operations, for example the online gambling sector, in particular betting within the very popular Australian sport of horse racing.

Online horse racing betting operator Unibet is a prime example of a global brand which conducts 100% of its business online. So that as more and more individuals sign up to place bets, this continuously poses challenges with regards to the safety of personal data and financial information of users.

Malware attacks and big data breaches

2017 was a year that saw many global malware attacks and big data breaches which has seen cybersecurity becoming an increased priority for everyone.

The estimated median cost of cyber crime for an organization—including loss of property, loss of productivity, and cost to remediate—rose from US$3.8 million in 2010 to US$5.9 million in 2011
The estimated median cost of cyber crime for an organization—including loss of property, loss of productivity, and cost to remediate rises rapidly as attacks increase

Malicious cyber activity against Australian organisations has grown in recent years, with increasing levels of sophistication, frequency and scale, hence the increased awareness and measures been taken to attempt to prevent such incidents.

The agreement signed last year sees Australia and Thailand working together to handle the growing challenges associated with the cybercriminal networks appearing within Asia.

This agreement between the two countries came quickly after Australia signed previous agreements in the year with both Singapore and China.

An agreement with signed with Singapore to work closely over a 2 year period to exchange information, training and arrange joint exercises centred around critical information infrastructure.

This agreement came about after the Singapore defence ministry suffered a massive security breach that compromised data of more than 850 national servicemen and women, along with 2 universities suffering attacks which saw hackers target government and research data.

Earlier in the year saw an agreement made with China in April to enhance cybersecurity cooperation, seeing both countries agree not to conduct or support cyber enabled theft of intellectual property or confidential business info with the purpose of gaining competitive advantage over one another. A mechanism was also agreed to discuss cybersecurity and related crimes in an attempt to prevent such incidents that could cause issues between the two countries.

For Australia cooperation with other Asian countries is vital in defending itself against the growing challenges posed by cyber security breaches and having agreements to work together with other countries and sharing best practise and information can only be seen as taking positive steps in the right direction.

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