Outgoing Telstra CEO Andy Penn at NPC warns Australia of risk of cyber attacks

Outgoing Telstra CEO Andy Penn has named the “biggest lever” Australia can use in its efforts to combat cyberattacks.

Penn, who chairs the cyber industry committee that advises the federal government, said educating people about ransomware and other digital threats was the best way to prevent them.

“We will never be able to capture everything,” he told the National Press Club in Canberra on Tuesday.

“So the area where we point to where we think the government could invest more, in the context of the overall scale of this strategy, is community awareness.”

Last year, Penn urged the government to take a stronger stance on ransomware and other types of malware as the frequency and intensity of cyberattacks increases.

He said Tuesday that the federal government needed to take a national approach to dealing with cyberattacks, including investing in its defenses.

“As I always describe it, if we wanted to rob a bank 100 years ago, you would go down Main Street and knock on the door and the money would be in the safe in the back,” Penn said. .

“Unfortunately now you can rob a bank from anywhere in the world and that is metaphorically what is happening and that is the challenge.”

Penn supported new Home Affairs and Cyber ​​Security Minister Clare O’Neil’s plans to review Australia’s cyber security strategy.

Ms O’Neil will reshape the strategy from 2020, on which Mr Penn advised the then Morrison government.

Penn said the confluence of technological advances and a more fractured geopolitical environment has led to a “significant increase” in cyber threats.

“Make no mistake, Australia is an attractive and active target for malicious actors and cybercriminals,” Penn said.

“The bottom line is that at a time when we have become more reliant than ever on doing things digitally and that dynamic is only going to increase, the digital platforms and digital infrastructure that we rely on are at greater risk.”

Telstra has intercepted more than 1 million malicious emails and 200 million fraudulent calls in the last 12 months, Penn said.

And the telecom giant blocks more than 1,500 fraudulent text messages every minute.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.