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Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy

Creating a Cyber Smart Nation

Australia’s new Cyber Security Strategy aims to boost Australia’s cyber security capacity and capabilities.

“Australia’s networks and systems will be increasingly resilient to attack and hard to compromise. We will better detect, deter and respond to cyber security threats and better anticipate risks”, states the strategy.

In announcing the new Cyber Security Strategy, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull said “the Australian Government has a duty to protect our nation from cyber attack and to ensure that we can defend our interests in cyberspace”. “We must safeguard against criminality, espionage, sabotage and unfair competition online”.

The strategy also highlights internal cyber security challenges, highlighting that “often the most damaging risk to government or business online security is not ‘malware’ but ‘warmware’; the ability of a trusted insider to cause massive disruption to a network or to use legitimate access to obtain classified material and then illegally disclose it” stated Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull’s forward statement.

The strategy declares that Australia will champion an open, free and secure Internet, and work together with international partners to address cyber security threats and highlight the opportunities a free Internet presents for the global economy.

A Cyber Ambassador will be appointed “who will identify opportunities for practical international cooperation and ensure Australia has a coordinated, consistent and influential voice on international cyber issues”, states the strategy.

Strong cyber security is a fundamental element of our growth and prosperity in a global economy. It is also vital for our national security. It requires partnership involving governments, the private sector and the community, states the strategy.

The Cyber Security Strategy will deliver 33 new initiatives, and will be supported by $230 million in Australian Government funding. The new initiatives are expected to generate more than 100 new jobs.

This investment complements the $400 million over the next decade – and roughly 800 specialist jobs -the Government has committed to improve Defence’s cyber and intelligence capabilities through the 2016 Defence White Paper.

The strategy aims to establish Australia as a cyber smart nation, by ensuring all Australians have ensuring cyber security skills and knowledge to thrive in the digital age, and address the critical shortage of skilled cyber security professionals.

“Australian governments, businesses and the research community will also work together to fix the cyber security skills pipeline to ensure more children at school study relevant subjects and to enable people at all stages of their careers to develop cyber security skills”, states the strategy.

“The Government will also further improve national cyber security awareness and work to ensure all Australians understand the risks and benefits of the Internet and how to protect themselves online”.

The cyber security strategy also aims to position Australia as a centre for cyber security innovation. A Cyber Security Growth Centre will be established to  create a national network of research and innovation, and bring together Australian governments, businesses, start-ups and the research community to define and prioritise cyber security challenges that are both critical to national success, states the document.

The Strategy establishes five themes for Australia’s cyber security over the next four years to 2020:

  1. A national cyber partnership
  2. Strong cyber defences
  3. Global responsibility and influence
  4. Growth and innovation
  5. A cyber smart nation

Key Priority Actions include:

  • Open jointly operated cyber threat sharing centres and an online cyber threat sharing portal
  • Introduction of voluntary cyber security governance assessments and national good practice guidelines
  • Advocate to retain an open, free and secure Internet, in the Indo-Pacific region and globally
  • Partner internationally to shut down safe havens and prevent cybercrime and other malicious cyber activity
  • Drive investment in cyber security innovation through the Cyber Security Growth Centre
  • Address cyber security skills shortages to develop a highly-skilled cyber security workforce
  • Improve all Australians’ awareness of cyber risks and benefits

View Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy.

Review Australia’s Cyber Security funding in detail.