Australian Institute of Criminology

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National business study set to break new ground in fight against cybercrime

Media Release

12 February 2008

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) today announced the start of a groundbreaking study into the effects of cybercrime on Australian business and encouraged all organisations approached to take part.

"Cybercrime is a very real threat in our increasingly computerised work environment," said AIC Director Dr Toni Makkai. "The Australian Business Assessment of Computer User Security project, or ABACUS, will fill in a crucial piece of the puzzle in helping business and law enforcement to fight cybercrime.

"If business and law enforcement are to develop effective strategies against cybercrime, they need to be fully informed about its current extent and impact. This study, if well supported by business, will help build this body of essential knowledge."

The study is taking place during February and March 2008, and will involve contact with over 10,000 Australian businesses across all industry sectors to look at their experiences.

"ABACUS is unprecedented in terms of its significant sample size and comprehensive coverage, and will give us excellent data on the extent and impact of attacks that harm the confidentiality, integrity or availability of network data or systems," Dr Makkai said.

The overall objective of the ABACUS study is to help Australian businesses create a more secure business environment through identifying the problems experienced, as well as the most effective prevention methods and tools used.

"Australian businesses, of all sizes and in all industries, are certainly vulnerable in the 'new world' of emerging technologies," said Peter Anderson, Acting Chief Executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "ACCI fully supports any efforts to increase our collective understanding of the threat, and especially welcomes the AIC's focus on using the ABACUS study to identify concrete tools and methods for better securing our businesses against cybercrime into the future."

Media enquiries: Lani Gerrish on 02. 6260 9273; Mob 0403 746 009