Media release - Six steps for digital self-defence during Australian Cyber Week

26 October, 2020: The Australian Digital Health Agency is promoting six practical steps for digital self-defence against attacks such as phishing and ransomware. These steps can protect your work and personal information.

  1. Build security awareness with the Digital Health Security Awareness eLearning course
  2. Keep your software up to date
  3. Use strong passwords and implement multi-factor authentication
  4. Back up your data regularly
  5. Do not respond to unsolicited phishing emails, texts and calls
  6. If you fall victim to ransomware, avoid paying the ransom

Tony Kitzelmann, the Agency’s Chief Information Security Officer said “Like a scheduled health check-up, we encourage everyone to take time during Australian Cyber Week to review their online presence, to ensure the appropriateness of their published personal and professional information and check if it puts them at risk from a targeted cyber-attack.” 2020 has been a year where many people and organisations have relied on virtual interactions to keep in contact and to conduct business. While there are many benefits to this increased connectivity, cyber-criminals will take every opportunity to exploit any vulnerabilities to steal your data or funds.

The latest Australian Cyber Security Centre threat report1 identifies that threats ‘against Australia’s national and economic interests are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication.’

The economic cost of cyber-crime to Australia, is difficult to quantify however, industry estimates have previously placed cyber security incidents as high as $29 billion annually.2

The healthcare sector stands out as a tempting target because of the critical nature of healthcare services and the high value placed on health data in the black market. So, now is a good time to learn how to defend yourself and your organisation against these threats.

For the more than 22 million Australians with a My Health Record there are multi-tiered security controls to defend the system from malicious attack. The system has been built and tested to Australian Government standards to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information within an individual’s My Health Record.

For more information about Cyber Security visit:

Australian Digital Health Agency:

Australian Cyber Security Centre:

Australian Cyber Week:

Media contact

Australian Digital Health Agency Media Team
Mobile: 0428 772 421
Email: [email protected]

About the Australian Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au

Media release - Six steps for digital self-defence during Australian Cyber Week.pdf(259KB)


  1. ACSC Annual Cyber Threat Report, July 2019 to June 2020. https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/reports-and-statistics/acsc-annual-cyber-threat-report-july-2019-june-2020  

  2. Frost & Sullivan study commissioned by Microsoft 2018 https://news.microsoft.com/en-au/features/direct-costs-associated-with-cybersecurity-incidents-costsaustralian-businesses-29-billion-per-annum/