The number of cyber security incidents detected in Australia increased by 109 per cent to 9,434 over the past 12 months.
This was triple the number of incidents globally at 38.5 per cent, according to PwC's Global State of Information Security Survey.
The average loss experienced by Australian businesses now comes close to equalling the average amount of budget allocated to security, said PwC's Australia and Asia-Pacific cyber leader, Steve Ingram.
Australia recorded the second highest average loss from incidents behind Japan at $3.27 million. However, Australia gets a better return on ($347 per incident) on its security spend, compared to Japan ($1,558), China ($2,209), and New Zealand ($851).
Ingram said the rising frequency of cyber security incidents is partly attributable to increased spending.
"This means that the capability to detect incidents has also increased, however Australian businesses still face significant cyber challenges.
"The willingness to invest in cyber security is positive; however, many businesses are yet to come to terms with cyber being a people issue not technology - they still face significant issues around response protocols and disaster preparedness, third-party suppliers, governance and employee engagement and the speed of innovation.
"It doesn't matter how much you spend on technology ... if your people don't understand their role in cyber," he said.
Just over two-thirds (69 per cent) of the 10,040 respondents worldwide said they use cloud-based security services to help protect sensitive data and protect customer information.
"Many are moving toward a more collaborative approach to cybersecurity where intelligence on threats and response techniques are shared with external partners.
"In Australia, the use of cloud-based security services is on the rise, albeit more slowly than expected," he said.
Source: CIO Australia
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.