Australia’s cyber security sector could soon experience a shortage of thousands of workers just as the nation is under increased attack from online criminals.
Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan from AustCyber has been released this week, outlining the risk to the community as the threat from hackers grows.
The report found the industry will face a shortage of 3000 cyber security workers by 2026.
The looming shortage comes as the report found the number of cyber attacks in Australia is expected to double over the next five years.
Australians are already under threat from cyber attacks, experiencing such an event every one to two minutes, with 745 reported per day in 2021.
The average cyber security worker in Australia earns $120,000 per year, with entry-level salaries starting at $100,000.
The report names a lack of funding as a reason behind the emerging shortage, with Australian cyber security start-ups receiving 300 times’ less funding than international peer leaders.
Millions of Australians have already had their data accessed in historic cyber attacks on Optus and Medibank.
The data of almost 10 million Optus customers was accessed by hackers in September, with thousands having passport, drivers licences and Medicare numbers stolen in the attack.
More than 9.7 million Australians had their personal data stolen just last month, with the credentials of a high-level Medibank employee obtained and sold to hackers via a cybercriminal forum.
The Medibank hackers have begun releasing records of those caught up in the attack, including medical records related to substance abuse and pregnancy termination.
Cyber crime is one of the fastest-growing types of criminal activity faced by Australians, according to Professor Nicholas Biddle, co-author of a survey by the Australian National University into the prevalence of hacks.
“Roughly one third of adult Australians, or around 6.4 million people, have been the victim of a breach in the last 12 months,” said Professor Biddle, from the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods.
Story Credit: news.com.au