Three-quarters of Australian organisations concerned about threats to 5G network and security of data in motion

Brian Grant

Three-quarters of Australian organisations concerned about threats to 5G network and security of data in motion

Thales today announced the release of 2023 Thales Data Threat Report, its annual report on the latest data security threats, trends and emerging topics based on a survey of nearly 3000 IT and security professionals in 18 countries. As ransomware attacks continue to impact Australian organisations, the report identifies additional growing security concerns around the 5G network and data in motion. 

Security threats increasing in volume and severity 

Over a third of Australian organisations (36%) experienced a data breach in the last 12 months leading 45% of IT professionals surveyed to believe that security threats are increasing in volume or severity. Four in ten organisations (43%) reported an increase in ransomware attacks, and while half (51%) have a formal ransomware plan ready to activate, a quarter (24%) admit they have paid or would pay a ransom.  

With the proliferation of double extortion ransomware, almost one in five (17%) Australian organisations also believe the disclosure of sensitive information through exfiltration has become the greatest impact of ransomware attacks.    

The pros and cons of 5G 

While 5G will prove revolutionary in terms of productivity improvements, it will also be responsible for a significant expansion in the cybersecurity threat landscape. Three-quarters (75%) of Australian IT professionals are worried about 5G network security threats – with seven in ten (72%) most concerned about the security of data that moves across the 5G network. 

Data in motion identified as biggest cyber-attack target  

Respondents identified their cloud assets as the main target for cyber-attacks. Almost half (48%) said cloud-hosted apps and data in motion were the biggest targets – a problem exacerbated by seven in ten (72%) organisations using over 25 SaaS applications and one in five (19%) using over 100. As a result, a third of Australian organisations are prioritising investment into securing data in transit (33%), followed by data at rest (28%) and data in use (28%).  

Addressing the challenges of digital sovereignty 

Digital sovereignty is becoming increasingly top of mind for data privacy and security teams. Overall, the report found that data sovereignty remains both a short- and long-term challenge for Australian enterprises. Eight in ten (82%) expressed concerns around how data privacy and data sovereignty will impact their organisations’ cloud deployment plans, with 59% agreeing that data privacy and compliance in the cloud has become more difficult. 

Brian Grant, ANZ Director, Thales Cloud Security, comments:As 5G becomes increasingly vital to the running of our manufacturing, transport, energy sectors and more, it will create a tsunami of sensitive data. Half of Australian organisations believe security threats increased over the past year and the ongoing deployment of 5G will only serve to intensify the threat landscape.  

“Organisations are right to be concerned about their data. The growth and success of a business today relies as much on good data security as on safeguarding its cash flow. Encrypting and securing data in use, in transit and at rest will not only help future proof against the proliferation of 5G, but also the tightening of privacy and sovereignty regulations across the world.” 

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