CERT Australia has launched an incident response survey of some 500 banks, telcos and utilities to gauge how critical infrastructure operators have responded to data breaches.
The invite-only survey will gather evidence over the next two to three months on the state of security in organisations deemed critical to Australia's digital economy.
CERT Australia's clients will be asked how they approach information security risks, whether they have been breached by internal or external attackers and how they responded to the attacks.
It will also gauge their ability to respond to and fend off future attacks, but unlike private sector surveys will not aim to set an average cost of breaches.
The Federal Government Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) worked with critical infrastructure operators within the finance, utility, transport and food industries to improve information security practice and assist with data breaches. Some operators of critical SCADA systems were offered publicly-funded security training at a US-based SCADA laboratory.
Federal Attorney General Nicola Roxon said it was important to assess the impact of data breaches.
"Cybercrime is a global problem but while international reports and experiences are informative they don't provide a clear picture of what's happening here," Roxon said.
"This survey builds on CERT Australia's work with the Australian business sector, and will help increase our understanding and address the global problems of cybercrime and cyber security threats."
The survey results will be published by the University of Canberra's Centre for Internet Safety which has partnered with CERT Australia on the survey.