'Catch Me If You Can' star shares how not to get caught by cyber scammers

CyberWest Summit 2024 sponsored by ECU has opened to its biggest ever crowd. The only cyber security event of its kind in Australia, it is designed to educate small to medium size businesses about the dangers to help them build cyber resilience.

'Catch Me If You Can' star shares how not to get caught by cyber scammers
ECU Professor Andrew Woodward, CyberWest Hub Director Cecily Rawlinson and Minister for Innovation Stephen Dawson.

First published on ECU

The CyberWest Summit 2024 was officially opened by Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Hon Stephen Dawson MLC in front of a record crowd.

Hosted by CyberWest Hub – WA's Cyber Security Innovation Hub, based at Edith Cowan University (ECU), the Summit is a unique event which brings cyber security out of the basement and into the boardroom.

Showcasing the leading experts in cyber security and artificial intelligence (AI), CyberWest Hub with partners Baidam Solutions and Best-IT, brought in the real-life Frank Abagnale, the man behind Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the Hollywood blockbuster Catch Me If You Can.

"We wanted to up the ante this year, because as cyber scammers continue to pull out all stops to catch innocent victims, the more engaged we can get people in cyber safety, the more people and organisations we can protect – no matter how advanced the scams or technology might be getting," CyberWest Hub Director Cecily Rawlinson said.

Cecily Rawlinson on stage
Cecily Rawlinson said scammers are more advanced than ever before.

Frank Abagnale made a name for himself around the world being a con man, cheque forger and imposter – today he spends his time educating people around the world on how not to fall victim to the scams.

Mr Abagnale hosted a virtual session on day one of the CyberWest Summit. In person, there was a host of local, national and international cyber security experts, among them Hayley Turner, Vice-President APAC from Dragos, Gaurav Vikas, Head of Security and Risk (APAC), Cherie Burgett Director, Cyber Intelligence Operations and Caitriona Forde caIT Cyber Safe and ECU Post-Doctoral Researcher Oliver Guidetti.

Cyber Love and Deception: Decoding Romance Scams through the Fake Date Game

ECU's Oliver Guidetti is the creator of FakeDate Game, a simulated game experience where players can learn to discern between real and fake online profiles, to identify potential romance scams.

In 2023, romance baiting scams cost victims a collective $40 million, with Scamwatch receiving over 480 reports. He shared the dangers to look out for during his seminar.

"I designed the FakeDate Game to empower individuals with actionable skills in identifying, protecting against, responding to, and recovering from romance scams," Oliver Guidetti said.

"I'm excited to be offering an insight into the technical nuances of the game and how these complement human vulnerabilities that romance scammers target."

Professor Paul Haskell-Dowland talks to guest
ECU Professor Paul Haskell-Dowland attended the conference.

Education and action: the pillars of cyber hygiene

The CyberWest Summit 2024 is the only conference of its kind in Australia which provides education alongside actionable strategies on cyber security, linking service providers with business across all industries.

This year the event focussed on six key pillars of cyber resilience and will showcase Western Australia's capabilities in cyber security innovation and education.

CyberWest Director Cecily Rawlinson said the Summit is specifically aimed at assisting small to medium-sized businesses to develop cyber security capabilities and to bridge the gap between the business and cyber communities.

"The cost of cybercrime is rising (by 14% in Australia in the last year alone) with the average cost of a cyber attack now sitting at around $97,000 - not an insignificant sum for a medium-sized business. And with 95% of cyber incidents involving human vulnerability, it's critical for businesses of all sizes and across all industries.

"Cyber security is not only critical to industries such as transport and electricity, but also to industries such as food, communications, health and logistics. Everyone needs to be baking in their cyber capabilities across their teams."

The Summit provides clear and actionable cyber education to professionals outside of the security sector through a variety of presentations, workshops, and hands-on activities, as well as connecting organisations to world leading cyber security providers – some homegrown and international leaders, located here in WA.

"After the event, business leaders will be equipped with the understanding of thecyber threats targeting their business and ready to start building cyber resilience into their companies. In addition to making their current business more secure, this will have the flow-on effect of enabling business growth," she added.