Cyber security is a significant issue for Australia’s financial services industry with APRA prioritising cyber resilience among banks, insurers, and super funds as a key area of supervision this year, following the public hacks of Optus, Medibank, and more recently Latitude Financial Services.
The spate of cybercrimes has put super funds such as Commonwealth Superannuation Corp (CSC) on notice, given its high profile as the pension manager for federal employees, chief executive Damian Hill said last year.
In an interview with Investment Magazine, CSC head of security Daminda Kumara says CSC will boost it to 22 per cent in the next financial year. The fund increased the dollar value of its cyber security investment by twelve per cent this year compared to the previous one.
“Every organisation should have cyber security as one of its top priorities given how deeply embedded technology is in a company’s operations and the fallout of having systems compromised,” he says.
“Most organisations are really adopting a digital method of communication and operation, and this obviously means there are significant risks of cyber-attacks. “The perpetrators, or the cyber criminals, are exploiting the new digital world and trying to either make money or disrupt businesses.”
The fund is also hiring more technology specialists but cyber security skills are in high demand in Australia because of a critical skills shortage he says. “Australian businesses face escalating cyber threats and the cyber security industry is also experiencing exponential growth,”
Elevating the role of tech
The elevation of the role of the technology team as a “business enabler” from a “services function” also helps put tech security on a priority list.
“Our purpose is to demonstrate this to our customer, to gain their trust, and that that we’re taking [cyber security] very seriously.”
CSC is also working closely with businesses and ensuring that, with every transaction, “cybersecurity or security is as a first thought as opposed to an afterthought.”