An Australian survey by data security firm Carbon Black shows that cyber attacks are increasing in volume and sophistication, causing regular security breaches affecting 89% of organisations surveyed.

The report analyses survey results from different industries, organisation sizes and IT team sizes to build a picture of the modern attack and cyber defence landscape in Australia.

Key survey research findings:

  • 89% of surveyed Australian organisations reported been breached in the past 12 months
  • The average number of breaches per surveyed organisation is 4.28.
  • 81% of surveyed organisations reported seeing an increase in attack volumes
  • 88% said attacks have become more sophisticated
  • 90% said they plan to increase spending on cyber defence.

Of the 81% of surveyed Australian businesses reporting an increase in cyber attacks, 28% said the volume has grown by 51% or more in the past year. 88% of surveyed businesses said they’ve witnessed an increase in attack sophistication, and over a quarter of respondents (29%) said adversaries had grown significantly more sophisticated in their approach.

90% of Australian organisations surveyed said they are planning to increase spending on cyber defence in response to the escalating threat landscape.

“Our first Australian threat report indicates that organisations in Australia are under intense pressure from escalating cyber attacks,” said Rick McElroy, Head of Security Strategy for Carbon Black.

“The research indicates increases across the board in attack volume and sophistication, causing frequent breaches. In response, an encouraging number of Australian organisations are adopting threat hunting and seeing positive results. As threat hunting strategies start to mature, we hope to see fewer attacks making it to full breach status.”

Malware is the most prolific attack type in Australia, according to the survey, with 29% of organisations naming it the most commonly encountered. Google Drive and ransomware were in second and third place with 15% and 12% respectively.

However, the human factor plays a big part in the attacks that lead to breaches, the survey found. Phishing attacks are at the root of 12% of successful breaches, the survey noted. Process weakness was the identified cause in 13% of breaches, according to the survey, indicating that basic security hygiene should still be considered a priority by organisations.

65% of surveyed Australian organisations said they are actively threat hunting, with over a quarter (26%) having threat hunted for more than one year, the survey found.  Over one-third (38%) said they have started in the past year.  A very encouraging 92% of those organisations report that threat hunting has strengthened their defences.

Carbon Black (NASDAQ: CBLK) is a leader in endpoint security dedicated to keeping the world safe from cyber attacks. The company’s big data and analytics platform, the CB Predictive Security Cloud (PSC), consolidates endpoint security and IT operations into an extensible cloud platform that prevents advanced threats, provides actionable insight and enables businesses of all sizes to simplify operations.

By analysing billions of security events per day across the globe, Carbon Black has key insights into attackers’ behavior patterns, enabling customers to detect, respond to and stop emerging attacks.