In recent months, we’ve heard repeatedly about the importance of promoting Australia’s digital innovation focus to ensure we as a nation are at the forefront of world technological developments, a clear passion point for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. This week on the blog, we thought we would explore one such initiative aimed at positioning Australia as a leader in the digital realm: the Federal Government’s cyber security strategy.
The policy is receiving its first update since 2009, and is set to be released in the coming weeks, despite having been expected since late 2014 after then leader Tony Abbott revealed a review would take place.
iTnews has viewed the policy and revealed five key focus areas, namely:
- Strengthening cyber defences
- Research and development
A notable aspect is the reliance on the private sector to achieve the policy outcomes outlined. This includes joint threat centres to be built in some capital cities aimed at strengthening networks and facilitating information sharing on potential threats. Further, the private sector will be called on to develop a set of cyber security standards as a guide for Australian organisations (Tucker, 2016).
Exporting security services to the Indo-Pacific region is also mentioned, as well as establishment of a cyber security growth centre, which follows Turnbull’s commitment to seeing Australia ‘open for business’ (Coyne, 2016).
The growing skills shortage in the cyber security sector is acknowledged, with partnerships with Australian universities and creation of apprenticeship opportunities at TAFEs seeking to increase the pool of quality talent (Tucker, 2016).
The importance of the policy is codified by the rise in cyber-attacks that are increasingly targeting critical infrastructure, some of which frighteningly appear to be government sponsored. We need only look at a cyber hack in Ukraine in December last year, which resulted in 80,000 residents being left without power, to highlight the importance of prioritising national security (iTnews, 2016).
Media reports have predicted that the policy will officially be released sometime in the next fortnight, so you’ll have to stay tuned for further details, including the funding allocation.
Coyne, A, 2016, Revealed: Australia’s new cyber security strategy, http://www.itnews.com.au/news/revealed-australias-new-cyber-security-strategy-418000
iTnews, 2016, “It’s a real wake-up call”: The hack that downed power for 80,000, http://www.itnews.com.au/news/its-a-real-wake-up-call-the-hack-that-downed-power-for-80000-417886
Tucker, H, 2016, Plans for Australia’s new cyber security strategy have leaked, http://www.businessinsider.com.au/plans-for-australias-new-cyber-security-strategy-have-leaked-2016-4
We’ll be sure to share article updates via Twitter in the coming weeks as the policy is rolled out, so keep an eye out at @DataUPAus for further information.