NT Govt launches Joint Cyber Security hub

Joint Cyber Northern Territory ACSC

The Northern Territory Government has announced the launch of its own Joint Cyber Security Service (JCSS), joining a network of fellow JCSS hubs across the country.

The Darwin-based JCSS serves as a collaborative hub between the Territory and Federal Governments and the local ICT industry, addressing “real and present danger of threats to cybersecurity through targeted and expert training,” said NT Minister for Corporate and Digital Development Paul Kirby.

“We all know that cybersecurity is in focus at the moment, especially with many businesses having to adapt to increased online activity due to Covid,” Kirby said.

“This free Partnership Program is about equipping our local industry with the tools they need to feel protected.”

The Territory’s JCSS is the sixth to launch in Australia, following partner hubs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth established since 2018. The Government earmarked $47 million for the nation-wide Joint Cyber Security Centre (JCSC) program.

Delivered as part of the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) wider Partnership Program, the on-the-ground JCSC hubs offer cybersecurity advice and expertise to local industry, with a particular interest in guiding SMEs.

“Through this new service, small businesses can access cyber threat information and seek advice from experts, while ICT enterprises can collaborate, share information across the sector and access skill development workshops,” the Government said in a statement.

The Territory said that it would work with the JCSS to facilitate regional visits and sector-specific cyber workshops to assist regional businesses, which are often ill-equipped to handle today’s growing and highly sophisticated cyber threats.

“[Cybersecurity] is a team sport and Joint Cyber Security Centres bring together business, government, industry, and academic partners to drive collaboration and information-sharing on cybersecurity issues,” said ACSC chief Abigail Bradshaw.

She added that the new Darwin hub would provide “a boost for cybersecurity in the Top End” giving Northern Territory businesses and organisations “greater access to cybersecurity advice and support”.

The JCSC’s outreach service would provide local businesses access to regular cybersecurity sessions and workshops for partners to address common challenges.

The ACSC Partnership Program allows a range of organisations to engage with Australia’s chief cyber defence agency, the ACSC as well as fellow partners in the business community, drawing on collective understanding, experience, skills and capability to uplift cyber resilience nation-wide.

Bradshaw encourages businesses across the Territory to become ACSC partners, enabling them to “fully benefit from the JCSS outreach service, receive timely cyber alerts and advice, and be part of a community of partners committed to lifting Australia’s collective cyber resilience”.

ACSC network partners will be able to access threat intelligence, news and advice to enhance situational awareness, collaboration opportunities, and resilience-building activities (e.g. exercises, discussions, workshops) across the JCSC network.