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Australian Government contemplates making ransom payments illegal

Australian Government contemplates making ransom payments illegal

Enterprise SecurityGovernmentTop Stories

It has been reported that it could soon be illegal for companies that fall victim to data breaches to pay ransoms to the hackers. The home affairs minister for the Australian Government, Clare O’Neil, confirmed that the organisation was examining whether new laws were needed to stop ransom payments in the wake of the Medibank and Optus data breaches. O’Neil said that while short-term successes were needed in cybersecurity reform after the mass hacks, other long-term outcomes were being considered, including banning ransom payments.

Chris Hauk, Consumer Privacy Advocate at Pixel Privacy, commented on the news: “While making ransom payments illegal could be seen as a ‘quick win’ by the Aussie government, there is no real evidence that such laws lead to a drop in cyberattacks. In place of these supposed quick wins, organisations need to focus on long-term protection against such attacks by keeping their systems updated to plug security holes, running regular security scans for malware and viruses, performing daily backups that are kept offline from the main systems and by educating employees and executives on the risks of phishing attacks, clicking links or attachments in emails and messages and social networking hacks.”

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