The Turnbull Government has released it's Cyber Security Strategy in an attempt to help Australia grow by embracing disruptive technologies from a secure footing.
The Cyber Security Strategy will deliver improved cyber security for the nation through 33 new initiatives, supported by over $230 million in Australian Government funding to boost the Government’s cyber security capacity and capabilities.
This investment complements the $400 million over the next decade the Government has committed to improve Defence’s cyber and intelligence capabilities through the 2016 Defence White Paper.
The Government seeks to establish a national cyber partnership between government, researchers and business, including regular meetings to strengthen leadership and tackle emerging issues. It will also upgrade cyber defences to better detect and respond to threats and anticipate risks.
A Cyber Ambassador has been appointed to work with international partners on the common threat and champion a secure open and free internet while cracking down on cybercrime. Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence will be established in universities to create more professionals and cyber security businesses will be nurtured and supported in their growth.
Dr Rajiv Shah, General Manager Australia, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence said the strategy provides an excellent platform for both the public and private sector to collaborate on addressing cyber threats.
“The Strategy reflects the growing recognition that any organisation is a target, whether in financial services, the public sector, or operating critical national infrastructure, Shah said. "If there is private data, intellectual property, payment details, or motivation to disrupt, then there is a threat."
“The Strategy’s initiatives provide important incentives to organisations and businesses to invest time and resources in continually reassessing their risk landscape and building their cyber resiliency.”
Although many of the initiatives are voluntary, Liam Rowland, Head of Incident Response and Forensics, APJ at Dell SecureWorks, said failing to take action could end up destroying your business.
“The Government Security Strategy tells us something with certainty, the Australian government is getting very serious about Cyber Security, meaning organisations operating in Australia are going to need to follow suit,” Rowland said.
Rowland said if Australian businesses do not take cyber security seriously now, they could not only be in for a shock when their systems are compromised but also be on the receiving end of a rather large fine, with the government looking to pass Australia’s Privacy Amendment (Notification of Serious Data Breaches) Bill 2015.
According to research conducted by Australian Cyber Security Centre, 43 per cent of major Australian businesses did not report cyber incidents to anyone in 2015 and with more focus on detecting and notifying the relevant stakeholders of any breaches, these incidents will no longer be able to be kept secret.
Rowland said the real key is preparedness and estimating waht a breach might cost today can help a company better develop a plan for the day when an event does occur.
"Determining potential losses can highlight key areas of opportunity for enhancing security strategy, focusing budget and resources on the right vulnerabilities, and preparing the company to respond quickly and resolve a breach more effectively,” Rowland said.
Northrop Grumman Australia welcomed the Government's focus on investing in students and upskillling the next generation.
"Both in Australia and globally Northrop Grumman is keenly aware of the need to build a pipeline of future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals and is a dedicated patron of STEM education in Australia,” CEO Ian Irving said.
The Government has appointed two of Australia’s most experienced IT executives as joint chairs of the Government’s new Cyber Security Growth Centre.
Doug Elix AO and Adrian Turner will lead the Growth Centre in developing a national strategy for Australia to become a global leader in this $USD 71 billion cyber security industry.
The Growth Centre, announced under the National Innovation and Science Agenda, aims to ensure Australia is best placed to tackle cyber hacking and data theft - which costs the world about $400 billion annually, according to Lloyds of London.