FooForce CEO urges national cybercrime approach

The CEO of FooForce – a leading Australian managed service and security provider with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison as well as every state premier and chief minister calling for a national approach to reporting and fighting cybercrime.

“Australia needs a clear and simple to use national approach for individuals and small- and medium-sized businesses to report cybercrime, ransomware and cyberattacks to the authorities,” Ms Russell wrote to the nation’s top leaders.

Her letter was also sent to the Premiers of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania and the chief ministers of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory, as well as some opposition figures and ministers.

Ms Russell said the proposed system “could be similar to the 000 emergency system, with an-easy-to-remember number that works anywhere in the country”.

“The response to cybercrime needs to be national because the problem is national, with attacks originating outside our borders.”

“A state-by-state piecemeal approach is not sufficient to the threat,” she wrote.

“Any cybercrime report needs to be backed up with immediate assistance from specialist cyber police units, which could be either federal or state and territory-based.”

“Currently, people can report to the Cyber Report website (cyber.gov.au/acsc/report) but it is inadequate – in the middle of a cyberattack that may have taken out whole systems – to expect people who need urgent help to go online to search for the site.”

Ms Russell added that “the ACSC doesn’t have the resources to provide an immediate emergency response.”

“Small to medium sized businesses and individuals are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. Unlike governments and large corporations, SMEs and individuals don’t have the resources for dedicated cybersecurity expertise on staff.”

It is important that they can simply and quickly call for help from specialist cyber police and that help is forthcoming, she wrote to the nation’s leaders.

“Australia has specialist police for almost every other category of crime. We need specialist cybercrime squads that can be reached on a simple, easy-to-remember national number,” Ms Russell said.

Write your own letter

For those interested in writing to the PM, their premier, communications minister or relevant body on the issue of cybercrime, Ms Russell has provided a list of points to choose from.

“If you would also like action on the issue, below are the key points I’m making. Pick and choose the ones that suit your perspective and add more if possible,” Ms Russell said.

  • #Cybercrime is on the rise.
  • Australia needs a clear and simple to use national approach for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses to report cybercrime to the authorities.
  • The response to cybercrime needs to be national because the problem is national, with attacks originating outside our borders.
  • A state-by-state piecemeal approach is not sufficient to the threat.
  • A reporting and emergency response system should be similar to the 000 emergency system, with an-easy-to-remember number that works anywhere in the country.
  • Any urgent cybercrime report needs to be backed up with immediate assistance from specialist cyber police units, which could be either federal or state and territory-based.
  • Currently, people can report cybercrime to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) but it is inadequate – in the middle of a cyberattack that may have taken out whole systems – to expect people who need urgent help to go online to search for the site.
  • The ACSC doesn’t have the resources to provide an immediate emergency response.
  • Australia has specialist police for almost every other category of crime. We have specialist police trained in cybercrime, but we need these specialists to be accessible for emergency response: a squad that can be reached on a simple, easy-to-remember national number.
  • #cybersecurity is a national priority
By |2021-10-12T15:04:04+10:00October 12th, 2021|Feature large, News|

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The Agenda Group
The Agenda Group is the largest provider of communications services to local government in Victoria and is a trusted adviser to government departments, agencies, not-for-profit organisations and large corporations in Australia.