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Recent actions tackle expanding ransomware threat

Ransomware has established itself as one of Australia’s fastest growing cybercrime threats. In recent months, both the Australian Government and Opposition have taken action against this serious threat, with further changes flagged. In this update, W+K cyber and privacy specialists Kieran Doyle, Samuel Hartridge and Ronny Raychaudhuri look at these developments and explore how they will potentially affect cyber insurers and their customers.

At a glance:

  • Ransomware has established itself as one of Australia’s fastest growing cybercrime threats.
  • Both the Government and Opposition have taken action against this serious threat with further changes flagged.
  • In June, the Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security introduced a private member’s bill proposing a mandatory ransomware notification regime.
  • In July, the Minister for Home Affairs announced the creation of a multi-agency ransomware taskforce – Operation Orcus.
  • The issue of ransomware was also addressed in a House of Representatives Committee hearing in late July that heard from IAG, QBE and Marsh. Following the hearing, media reports suggested there is a growing push to ban insurers covering ransom payments.
  • For cyber insurers facing heightened risks in a challenging market, this action against the threat of ransomware is welcome news but it could have a significant impact on small business owners that are victims of ransomware attacks.

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© Wotton + Kearney 2021
This publication is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this publication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.
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