Commonwealth earmarks $10.6 million on Cybersecurity

A four-year funding program is being managed by the Digital Transformation Agency, together with a new advisory body that will monitor cyber-security, digital and ICT projects. 

The Australian government has bulked up spending for cyber-security – with a four-year program being managed by a new advisory body at the Digital Transformation Agency. 

This funding is designed to deliver more reliable and robust digital services, while building a cyber-security culture and practice. This investment would build on the $230 million the government had already committed through Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy.

Angus Taylor, assistant minister for cities and digital transformation, said the funding would ensure that cyber-security was central to new ICT projects and capabilities. “The new cyber-security advisory function will work with government agencies to ensure they appropriately manage the risks of cyber vulnerabilities on digital services."

As part of the DTA’s recently-expanded responsibilities, major government ICT and digital projects were being assessed, noted Taylor. “This is to gauge how they’re progressing, how much they’re costing, whether or not they’re delivering the promised benefits, and that potential risks are being properly managed.”

The DTA would bring an additional layer of oversight into this process, while ensuring that cyber-security remained at the front and centre for all ICT and digital projects. This oversight would also address important recommendations from last year’s eCensus review.

“The government’s Cyber Security Strategy emphasises the need for strong, reliable and robust cyber security functions across all government agencies,” added Tehan.

The DTA advisory function would provide central governance and oversight for cyber-security. This would also significantly reduce risks and vulnerabilities for ICT and digital projects. Cyber-security support would also be provided to the smaller agencies.

An earlier Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet report noted that malicious cyber activity was a security challenge for all Australians. Organisations across the public and private sectors were compromised by state-sponsored or non-state actors.

Overseas, large multinational companies and government organisations were targeted, while losing substantial amounts of sensitive commercial and personal information, or incurring major damage to their business and reputation.

Much of Australia’s digital infrastructure was owned by the private sector. This meant that securing the cyber-space remained a shared responsibility. The focus was on collaboration between businesses, the research community, governments and other stakeholders to build cyber defences, while creating solutions to shared problems.

 

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