A New Cyber Battleground, Australian Resilience And Adaptation Will Shine Through
Posted: Monday, Feb 05

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A New Cyber Battleground, Australian Resilience And Adaptation Will Shine Through

2024 is upon us and Australia and New Zealand stand as vibrant hubs of innovation and technological evolution. The Antipodes are set to witness transformative trends in both technology and cybersecurity that promise to shape the digital frontier.

In Australia, the tech and cybersecurity industry are booming with key trends such as AI – and the infrastructure needed to support it – ramping up, while companies shore up their security in the wake of the new Cyber Security Strategy. Across the ditch meanwhile, New Zealand’s sectors are benefitting from rising demand, particularly in North American and European markets.

100% of APIs Aren’t 100% Safe

With this progress, one significant trend to watch this year is the escalating threat landscape surrounding application performance interface (API) integration with third-party companies. The revelation of four new vulnerabilities by the not-for-profit Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) in its API Security Top 10 list has brought attention to the risks associated with ‘Unsafe Consumption of APIs.’

In its consultation with industry to enact new legislation following the Cyber Security Strategy launch, the Government has also called attention to introducing more stringent security controls for credentials belonging to third-party service providers, and greater education for third-party providers handling sensitive data.

Unsafe API consumption vulnerabilities occur when internal applications integrate with third-party API endpoints, consuming data without proper sanitisation or validation of responses. This marks a notable shift in our traditional approach to cyber security, placing third-party API consumption at the forefront of potential threats. The tech community must fortify their digital fortresses against this growing attack vector.

Steps In The Right Direction

In order to accomplish this, organisations must meticulously evaluate the security posture of service providers before integration. This involves a comprehensive examination of their API security measures to ensure they align with industry best practices. Moreover, it’s crucial to enforce secure communications channels, such as Transport Layer Security (TLS), for all API interactions. This protocol encrypts data during transmission, thwarting potential tampering.

Additionally, validating and sanitising data received from integrated APIs is a fundamental practice. By implementing stringent data validation procedures, organisations can mitigate the risk of malicious payloads of unexpected data manipulations compromising system integrity.

Another vital step is for organisations to establish an allowlist for well-known redirection locations. Blindly following redirects can expose systems to unauthorised destinations, but maintaining a predefined list of permissible redirections can bolster API consumption against security breaches.

A Changing Face for Computing

New data locations are emerging too. The cloud computing landscape is evolving with the rise of distributed cloud services. Trends indicate a surge in prominence for these services, enabling decentralised, low-latency computing for a diverse array of applications.

The benefits extend beyond traditional city-bound data centres, reaching the farthest corners of our vast country. One of the most notable advantages of distributed cloud services is the elimination of geographical constraints. By extending computing resources to remote and underserved regions these services promise to bridge the digital divide and bring advanced computing power remote corners. With this spread of computing power comes the potential to spur innovation and economic development in areas that were previously excluded from the technological mainstream, diversifying and improving the technological brain power to drive innovation.

Further impact on business operations is another key benefit. The ability to deploy applications and process data closer to the source minimises latency, resulting in enhanced performance and responsiveness. The efficacy gains from decentralised computing can translate into improved user experiences, increased productivity, and a competitive edge – a boon for organisations across the region.

In Conclusion

In the face of these technological shifts, Australia and New Zealand will showcase their resilience and adaptability in 2024. Local businesses and cybersecurity experts are gearing up to tackle the challenges head-on, recognising the importance of staying ahead in an ever-changing digital landscape.

As we step further into the new year, the region’s technology sector is not merely embracing change but sculpting it. With a keen eye on cybersecurity and a commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we’re poised to lead the charge in navigating the complexities of the digital era.

Jason Baden
Jason has almost 20 years’ experience as a senior executive in the IT and telecommunications industry. Prior to joining F5, he was Country Manager at Ruckus Networks and was responsible for leading the ANZ team strategy, as well as the smooth integration of ARRIS following its acquisition of Ruckus Networks. He has also previously held roles at Juniper Networks, AXS-One, Airwide Solutions, and Optus.
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