Dozens of women are killed every year after former partners acquire details of their whereabouts on the dark web and hunt them down.

The sombre point was made by Michelle Price, CEO of the Australian Cyber Security Network (AustCyber), delivering the opening keynote at the Global Access Partners’ 9th Annual Economic Summit last Thursday.

“Cyber security is not what you think it is,” Price told the stunned audience.

“We need to care more about what’s happening.

“[Poor cyber security] enables perpetrators to locate their partners or ex-partners in witness protection three jurisdictions away, locate them for around $150 on the dark net, find them, and end their lives.

“We all care about that, don’t we? That little factoid doesn’t ever make the news – and that is happening right now.

“Dozens of women are killed every year because of their information being sold on the dark net. Because of having poor systems and not having eyes on [them].”

On an international level, all countries face the threat of cyber attacks from less friendly nations.

“Cyber security absolutely matters for the defence of our nation in a way that has never mattered before,” Price said.

“We now understand as western nations, how democracies can be undermined – and that is through cyber means.”

“Australia is such a soft target for malicious activity – because we do have a comprehensively undereducated business sector in Australia around why this is absolutely one of the most critical endeavours that every organisation – whether you be public or private or otherwise – needs to engage in.”

“We need to make sure that if we are selling the point that your business does not treat cybersecurity as a business risk rather than an IT risk, you are limiting your future on this planet.”

Price said that over the next 10 years, we will spend $1 trillion spent on cybersecurity in the Indo-Pacific region of the world.

Much of this will be spent on countries beefing up their cyber resilience.

“When we think of the conception of cyber resilience, not just cyber security but cyber resilience, we drive huge amounts of untold economic value, productivity and efficiency into our economy.

“There are huge economic benefits that can be had for [Australia]."

The Global Access Partner's Annual Economic Summit was held at Parliament House NSW.