Australian Banks Facing Greater Cyber Threats

Australian banks are seen as easy targets for cyber criminals says Ernst & Young’s security boss, who made the comments while visiting clients in the country.


Photo: Benoit Daoust / Shutterstock

Ken Allan, global head of information security, noted that while Australian banking systems have not suffered the same levels of attacks as the US and Europe, they were still quite vulnerable.

“Australia doesn’t have that many enemies. You don’t have many groups who are motivated by ideology viewing Australia as a target,” said Allan. “The downside of that is that it means the readiness to respond to the threats here is probably less.”

Allan criticized the lack of “formal” procedures for reporting banking threats. “In Australia, it is done on a relatively informal basis,” he said.

“US banks have a very sophisticated formal structure under an organisation called the FS-ISAC (Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center),” explained Allan, adding that “an attack on one bank is an attack on the sector”.

The remarks follow similar comments from Queensland Police’s head of fraud and cybercrime, who expressed concern over bank fraud details not being shared with police.

In response some banking companies have agreed to meet with police on a regular basis.

Allan went on to say that prevention is key, rather than cleaning up.