2024 National Defence Strategy boosts cyber capabilities

cyber security

As part of the 2024 National Defence Strategy (NDS) and 2024 Integrated Investment Program (IIP), the Federal Government has pledged over $50 billion to strengthen the country’s cyber and electronic warfare capabilities over the next 10 years.

Around $56 billion in total has been committed to the country’s Navy, Army and Air Force, alongside its space and cyber abilities. Just under $6 million of this has been dedicated to the cause in the next four years, with the remaining to come over the next decade.

The new IIP said the fund injection comes as cyber threats have increased in “scale and complexity”, with $15 to $20 billion committed to improving defensive and offensive methods when combatting cybercrime and increasing the resilience of our infrastructure in the face of cyber attacks.

“The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to fund the Australian Defence Force and set out an affordable, achievable, and sustainable plan for the future,” The Hon Richard Marles MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, said.

“To deliver impactful projection, we are making an historic investment in Defence funding – including $330 billion for the Integrated Investment Program over the decade, a significant lift from previous planning.

“At a time of complex challenges and increasing uncertainty, a stronger, integrated, focused and capable Defence Force is of the upmost importance.”

“Cyber is now a critical domain of conflict. Through both the ADF and the Australian Signals Directorate, Australia genuinely punches above our weight in this domain. A further commitment of $15-20 billion over the decade will ensure that Australia builds this capability such that we remain at the forefront of developments in the cyber domain.”

The IIP also includes further support for the REDSPICE program, which underpins Australia’s signals intelligence cyber capability, to enhance the nation’s intelligence gathering and storing, surveillance and communications functions. Additional funding will see REDSPICE provide:

  • “New offensive cyber capability to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF);
  • Enhanced strategic and operational intelligence;
  • New national cyber defence capabilities to defend Australia’s most critical systems and infrastructure;
  • Increased survivability and resilience of communications, classified networks and the Australian Signals Directorate’s (ASD’s) most critical functions;
  • Enhanced space capability to support the ADF and resilient worldwide communications; and
  • Foundational capabilities such as data science, automation and machine learning to deal with increasing volumes of data.”

“The Integrated Investment Plan deliberately reshapes the ADF’s acquisition program to ensure it has the critical capabilities needed for the next decade and beyond,” Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Pat Conroy MP, said.

“This is a record investment in defence capability and an investment in a future made in Australia, which will not only make the country safer, but also deliver dividends for industry and jobs for hard-working Australians.

“This fully funded plan ensures a continuous pipeline of investment that underscores the Albanese Government’s unwavering commitment to developing Australia’s sovereign defence industry.”