Australia’s cybersecurity sector will experience a huge worker shortage over the coming years, according to a new report, as cyber attacks grow.
The Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan from AustCyber, released this week, found there would be a shortfall of 3,000 cybersecurity workers in Australia by 2026. At the same time, the number of cyber attacks in Australia is expected to double in the next five years.
According to the report, lack of funding is the main reason for the upcoming shortage, with Australian cybersecurity startups receiving 300 times less funding than their international peer leaders.
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The average cybersecurity worker earns $120,000 per year, according to SEEK data, with entry-level positions starting at $100,000 and more experienced workers earning more than $160,000.
The report is being released as part of Australian Cyber Week 2022. It comes as Aussies report cybercrime once every seven minutes, with the Australian Cyber Security Centre receiving 76,000 reports over the past financial year.
Cyber security under the spotlight
Up to 10 million customers were caught up in the recent Optus data breach, while the Medibank breach has impacted 9.7 million current and former customers.
The Medibank hackers have been releasing hundreds of customers' data on the dark web, including names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers, Medicare numbers, passport numbers and some health claims data.
“We will continue to support all people who have been impacted by this crime through our Cyber Response Support Program,” Medibank CEO David Koczkar said in a statement.
“This includes mental health and well-being support, identity protection and financial hardship measures.”
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) believes the hackers are based in Russia. The AFP is speaking with Russian law enforcement about the individuals believed to be involved.