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Crime, Information Technology

Monash expert: Potential data breach for big four banks – treating customers right

Monash University 2 mins read

A Monash expert is available to comment on communications to customers in the context of Australia’s four largest banks being confirmed as clients of law firm HWL Ebsworth. The banks are working to establish what data has been stolen by ­Russian hackers who infiltrated the law firm’s IT systems.


Professor Monica Whitty, Head of Department of Software Systems and Cybersecurity, Faculty of Information Technology

Contact details: +61 450 501 248 or  

  • Human factors of cybersecurity
  • Preventing online fraud and deception
  • Detecting cyber scams 

The following can be attributed to Professor Whitty:

“If a data breach is confirmed, the customers affected and the general public deserves to know more about what has happened to their personal data and what protections were not in place to provide opportunities for criminals to access data.


“Customers also need to understand what to do next to protect themselves as a consequence of a potential breach. For example, if their identity has been compromised, there needs to be an explanation regarding how customers' data might be used in identity fraud and other scams. In addition, they need to be taught what to look out for and what actions they need to undertake to remain safe.


“In the long term, organisations need to improve their cybersecurity – technical and human defences. This is an urgent and non-trivial matter. My research demonstrates, for example, that training programmes developed by organisations to prevent human error are not well developed or executed. They need to be developed with the understanding of how people learn and the psychology of our everyday behaviours. Without well-developed programmes, organisations will not effectively prevent human error in cyber attacks.”


For any other topics on which you may be seeking expert comment, contact the Monash University Media Unit on +61 3 9903 4840 or

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