NSW Budget: $80m for critical cybersecurity activities

New South Wales’ Department of Customer Service and Service NSW will receive a funding boost of $80 million to continue critical cybersecurity activities under the state government’s just-released Budget 2023-24.

The Government said its allocation has gone to programs that “would otherwise be unfunded”.

Additional funding will also go to Service NSW ($232.5 million to 2026-27) to help continue critical services and meet projected demand in coming years.

The NSW Government said it has remained committed to investing in whole-of-sector digital information and communication technologies to improve services for the people in the state, adding that it has a key ongoing goal to “promote a progressive, whole-of-sector approach to service provision, enabling clusters to promote productivity and efficiency”.

The Budget also includes $1.2 billion in capital spending for customer service initiatives and projects over the four years to 2026-27. Among these projects, expected to commence in 2023-24, include the Digital Restart Fund – OneCX – Tranche 3, with an estimated total cost of $7.1 million.

The project involves working with agencies to build the nsw.gov.au domain as the single location for customers to source information about NSW Government services.

Cybercrime activity hits new records

Citing the latest figures from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), the NSW Government recorded a 42 per cent increase in cybercrime across the state in the three years to June 2022.

Over this period, BOCSAR reported 39,494 reports of cybercrime, with more than $404 million reportedly lost. Within this, cyber-fraud increased by 95 per cent, identity crime by 35 per cent, and device-related offences by 117 per cent.

Cybercrime includes cyber-enabled fraud, identity theft, cyber-enabled abuse, online image abuse, and device offences such as malware and ransomware.

As far as incidents of reported cybercrime in NSW were concerned, people aged over 55 were more likely to be victims of cyber abuse, device, and fraud offences. At the same time, most victims of online image abuse were young, with 37 per cent between the ages of 18 and 24.