Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy will improve nation’s cyber security through 33 new initiatives worth over $230 million

Australia has announced a far-reaching Cyber Security Strategy to unlock Australia’s digital potential and build as well as strengthen a trusted and safe online environment in an increasingly digital world.

“There’s no global institution or infrastructure more important to the future prosperity and freedom of our global community than the Internet itself,” Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said, noting the Internet had spread “almost entirely without the direction or control of government”.

“A secure cyberspace provides trust and confidence for individuals, business and the public sector to share ideas and information and to innovate online.

Hacking attacks cost Australia A$1 billion ($780 million) a year and unveiled a long list of measures – from appointing his own special cybersecurity adviser to having internet safety taught in schools – to make the online world freer and safer.

The new Australian Strategy addresses how to stay protected online ourselves and be more resilient to malicious cyber activity—as individuals, businesses, governments and as a nation.

The Strategy complements the key elements of my Government’s Economic Plan—helping the transition to a new and more diverse economy which is fuelled by innovation, the opening of new markets and more investment in Australian enterprise, PM Turnbull said.

“With the Innovation and Science Agenda and the Defence Industry Plan, this Strategy will help bring more Australian technologies to market, prepare our children for the jobs of the future by boosting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) participation and support and create innovative Australian companies.”

The strategy includes 33 cyber security initiatives worth $231.1 million, including funding for 100 new specialist jobs, the PM said. The new initiatives will result in more than 100 new jobs to boost the Government’s cyber security capacity and capabilities.

“This investment complements the $400 million over the next decade – and roughly 800 specialist jobs -the Government has committed to improve Defence’s cyber and intelligence capabilities through the 2016 Defence White Paper.”

The Australian Cyber Security Centre will relocate to enable “a more integrated partnership between the Government and its operational stakeholders, including businesses, the research and academic community and foreign partners collaborating with the ACSC,” the document states. The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) will continue to lead the ACSC.

“Our cyber security strategy answers the call for national leadership and it understands that Australia’s economic security is always placed at risk without strong national security.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who faces an election in July amid waning popularity, is trying to position himself as a leader who can transform Australia into a tech-savvy business hub as its economy deals with a commodities downturn.

Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy will include:

  • A national cyber partnership between government, researchers and business, including regular meetings to strengthen leadership and tackle emerging issues.
  • Strong cyber defences to better detect, deter and respond to threats and anticipate risks.
  • Global responsibility and influence including working with our international partners through our new Cyber Ambassador and other channels to champion a secure, open and free Internet while building regional cyber capacity to crack down on cyber criminals and shut safe havens for cybercrime.
  • Growth and innovation including by helping Australian cyber security businesses to grow and prosper, nurturing our home-grown expertise to generate jobs and growth.
  • A cyber smart nation by creating more Australian cyber security professionals by establishing Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence in universities and fostering skills throughout the education system.
Australia's $230 million Cyber Security Strategy

Australia’s $230 million Cyber Security Strategy