Craig McDonald 22 April 2016 13:01:51 AEST 2 MIN READ

PM announces $230M Cyber Security Strategy and looks to change the ‘Culture of denial’

The Prime Minister Mr Malcolm Turnbull says, “Australia and Australians are targets for malicious actors - including serious and organised criminal syndicates and foreign adversaries—who are all using cyberspace to further their aims and attack our interests.

The scale and reach of malicious cyber activity affecting Australian public and private sector organisations and individuals is unprecedented. The rate of compromise is increasing and the methods used by malicious actors are rapidly evolving.


This Strategy seeks to promote an improved institutional cyber culture and raise awareness of cyber practice across government and business to enable all Australians to be secure online.

The Government will invest over $230 million over four years to enhance Australia’s cyber security capability and deliver new initiatives.

Australia is well placed to be a leader in cyber security. We can use technology as a means to manage the threats and risks that come with being online and interconnected—and to grow our true potential.

This strategy will develop partnerships between the Australian public and private sectors, support home-grown cyber security capabilities and promote international cyber cooperation. We will change and adapt when needed to stay competitive and influential in the constantly changing technology landscape.”

The strategy states that, 'Malicious cyber activity is a security challenge for all Australians. Australian organisations across the public and private sectors have been compromised by state-sponsored or non state actors. Overseas, large multinational companies and government organisations have been targeted, losing substantial amounts of sensitive commercial and personal information or incurring major damage to their business and reputation.

It is critical that we build our nation’s stock of cyber security skills, which are becoming increasingly essential for life and work in our connected world. Ultimately, to deal with all these challenges we must elevate cyber security as an issue of national importance. Leadership will be critical to achieving this goal.’

The Prime Minister was also critical of the ‘Culture of denial’ that has existed amongst business and governments alike, speaking about recent incidents impacting government departments and in particular the attack in 2015 on the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology.

Cyber security leaders commended the Prime Minister on lifting the veil on the BoM attack. The acknowledgement of such attacks was long overdue in my opinion.

Businesses are reluctant to talk about their experience with cyber security incidents. In 2014, 693,053 Australian businesses experienced a cyber crime but only 11,703 reported a cyber incident.

It's long overdue that the Government and the business community acknowledge the extent of what is a rapidly escalating problem.

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You can read more about the government's announcement on their cyber security strategy  in an article by the Financial Review.


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