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Cybersecurity is a booming business, and one which Australians spent $5.6 billion on in 2020. AustCyber predicts our annual spend will reach $7.6 billion by 2024.

Cyber criminality is also a lucrative and fast-growing sector. In 2020/21 it cost Australians $33 billion, up 13 per cent on the previous year. The figure is self-reported, so the real number is likely larger.

With more of us working from home, there are unfortunately more vulnerabilities for criminals to exploit.

E-criminals are opportunists as well as innovators. And they have more in common with non-criminal enterprises than you might guess at first.

Ransomware – a justifiable source of anxiety for many manufacturers, and which was up 15 per cent in Australia last financial year – was described to us recently as having grown to the point where it is “highly industrialised. There’s almost a supply chain of several criminal organisations that put components together.”

As one of the expert contributors to this series points out, “Ransomware perpetrators see themselves as entrepreneurs. Like us, they are motivated by profits and aspire to retire rich early.”

Why are we telling you this? Because like local and international competition, the need to keep productivity rising quicker than costs, and a host of other pressures, the need to keep your precious IP, money and uptime protected from internet criminals is a serious issue.

@AuManufacturing’s latest editorial series – Cybersecurity – Identity and Access Management – begins today. For two weeks we will focus on this vital topic. We believe there’s a serious need for this conversation.

Research by Cynch, RMIT, Deakin University and AustCyber on small and micro businesses published last year suggests a lack of front-footedness, despite two- fifths of those surveyed having suffered a breach. The main motivator for considering risk was direct experience of an attack. It argues that “war stories” and wins need to be shared to help companies understand what can and should be done.

In this series, we will hear a war story from a large and well-known Australian manufacturer, as well as the story of a high-tech local business making access equipment, and how they keep users’ biometric and other data safe. We will also feature practical, usable tips on cloud security in machine shops, some predictions for 2022, some advice – if you’re interested – on how to be the victim of a ransomware attack, and more. As usual, you can expect a healthy range of views from academics, industry groups, suppliers, and — of course — manufacturers.

First of all, we’ll hear from Rana Gupta, APAC Regional VP, Authentication & Encryption from series sponsor Thales. A huge thank you to Thales for making this series possible.

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