Study Shows That 76% of Australian State MPs Don’t Follow Digital Security Best Practices

The study covered 237 personal websites published by State MPs across Australia checking four factors: web hosting, encryption, domain name ownership and performance of the homepage.

The exercise was inspired by Scott Morrison’s loss of domain name last year and subsequent news highlighting security issues suffered by MPs.

Key findings included:

  • Of the 582 MPs researched, 237 of them had websites, so 41% of the total
  • Of these, 49% (115) were hosted abroad and 13% didn’t have proper encryption in place
  • 76% of MP’s websites didn’t pass the security and best practices check
  • Labor performed best with 36% of websites not featuring any issue

A number of MPs host their websites with a US-based company called Nation Builder, that is effectively holding Australian MPs data under the jurisdiction of the State of California, going against the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s recommendations:

The ACSC strongly encourages organisations to choose either a locally-owned vendor or a foreign-owned vendor that is located in Australia and stores, processes and manages sensitive data only within Australian borders.

MPs did not appear to be concerned about the findings: they were notified twice by email, with over 1,000 sent, and only 7 responded (excluding automated replies).

You can view the full results of this study on the Network Dynamics blog:

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Network Dynamics is an Australian owned and operated web hosting provider offering enterprise-grade solutions to business of all sizes. Founded in 2008, Network Dynamics is trusted by some of Australia’s leading brands and organisations.

/Public Release.