Can cyber attackers really knock out the electricity grid? Can hackers really get into your laptop’s video camera and monitor you? Can a car running a digital system be taken over remotely?

Far-fetched as it may sound, the answer to all of the above questions is ‘yes’.

But if you remain unconvinced by the potential dangers posed by lax cybersecurity, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) has launched its layman’s guide to cybersecurity to help you get a handle on the issues.

‘Cybersecurity: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities’ explains the basics of cybersecurity, emphasises that cybercrime is on the rise, and notes ways in which you can protect yourself and your business.

The report was launched by ACS President Anthony Wong and the Hon. Philip Dalidakis, Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, at the IFIP Cyber Resilience Forum in Sydney.


“The issue of cybersecurity is as vital to our life as technology itself,” said Wong. “In fact, they can’t be separated: our economic health, our national security, and indeed the fabric society is now defined by the technology we depend on every day.”

Cyber minister Dan Tehan, in his maiden speech at the National Press Club last month, said that when a cyber attack hits, it will affect everyone -- not just techies -- and so it is imperative the Australian public can understand concerns about cybersecurity.

“In a cyber storm, everyone will feel the impact,” he said. “Whether we have detailed technical knowledge or not, we will all have to deal with the consequences. This is why the preparation that we make together today in our cyber security will keep us safe.

“Dealing with this issue is not something that Government can do alone. All of us, from boardrooms to lounge rooms, need to recognise that with the power of technology comes a responsibility to protect ourselves.”