DFAT to update cybersec engagement strategy for Aussie trade partners

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is finalising nationwide submissions to revise a Federal strategy aimed at strengthening engagement in cyber and critical technology affairs between Australia and its global trading partners.
 

In an official statement, DFAT said it will update the Government’s original International Cyber Engagement Strategy (ICES), released back in 2017, drawing on submissions from industry, non-government organisations, academia, and individuals in Australia and overseas.

While yet to reveal specifics on the “critical technologies” involved, the Department said they would reflect increasing interdependencies and linkages between Australia’s cyber and technology policy interests.

Under the latest feedback-gathering exercise, DFAT has posed online questions to gain a better read of Australia’s trading arrangements in cyberspace.

Among the questions, the Department has sought greater clarity on how cyberspace and critical technologies will shape international strategic and geopolitical relationships through to 2030.

Technology developments and applications that present the greatest risk and/or opportunities for Australia and the Indo-Pacific also come under scrutiny, as well as questions assessing how Australia can pursue its cyber and critical tech interests on the international stage.

Opinions are also being canvassed about ways to balance the cyber-engagement risks and opportunities; respondents are also asked to present and assess best-practice international cyber and technology regulations worldwide.

In an earlier Trans-Pacific Partnership (CCTP) fact sheet, the trade Department said that governments had recognised that in order to make "the most of the commercial opportunities in the online environment, consumers and businesses require a secure and well-functioning Internet”.

Overwhelmingly, it said, countries had acknowledged the importance of transnational cooperation in cybersecurity, supported through the work of state-based cyber emergency response and incident-tracking teams.

DFAT will accept feedback submissions for the revised ICES until June 16.