Governments, businesses and the research community together advance Australia’s cyber security.

The Cyber Security Strategy has created energy and a new dynamic of collaboration between the public and private sectors and academia. Leaders are setting the tone that this is an issue of opportunity as much as threat.

Delivering the Strategy

  • The Prime Minister continued to host annual cyber security leaders’ meetings. The April 2017 conversation canvassed technological advances that will potentially disrupt Australia’s cyber security ecosystem and strategies to get ahead.
  • The Government’s new lines of cyber security authority – Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security, Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Coordinator Australian Cyber Security Centre – are already delivering benefits in terms of leadership and improved strategic consultations.
  • New governance arrangements have been implemented to focus effort within government, including transition of strategic leadership to a new Cyber Security Board chaired by the Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
  • Following a recommendation by the Public Works Committee, the Australian Parliament has passed a motion to expedite the relocation of the Australian Cyber Security Centre to Brindabella Business Park in Canberra. The move to more open and publicly accessible facilities in Brindabella Business Park is on track to begin in mid-August 2017.
  • Ongoing cultural change in the Centre along with successful relocation should increase the opportunity for strong public-private collaboration.
  • The Office of the Cyber Security Special Adviser has commenced initial scoping to deliver research to better understand the cost of malicious cyber activity to the Australian economy. Work will be progressed in collaboration with the private sector across 2017-2018.

“We are seeing the strategy provide a valuable platform for increased industry and government collaboration, and facilitating information exchange between big and small businesses to keep our collective employee base, our customers, and the community safe.”

Andrew Dell, Chief Information Security Officer, National Australia Bank

Building on the Strategy

Strengthening Commonwealth, state and territory engagement on cyber issues, the Prime Minister led a discussion on current and emerging cyber risks at the December 2016 Council of Australian Governments meeting. Leaders noted cooperation to date and agreed to improve collaboration to manage cyber security risks and strengthen public trust and confidence in Australia’s online economy. Identified areas of future cooperation included critical infrastructure resilience, cyber incident management response, and cyber security education. These discussions have been backed up by regular dialogue between officials.

The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security has actively engaged the private sector, hosting roundtables on cyber security incident response and uplifting capacity in small to medium enterprises.

Across the economy, Boards have been seeking further information about cyber security risks and opportunities; in government cyber security has been regularly discussed at the Secretaries’ Board, which brings together the Secretaries of all Commonwealth Departments and is Chaired by the Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet; and the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security has also briefed Commonwealth Parliamentarians and several state and territory governments on cyber security risk.

Next steps

2017 will see the relocation of the Australian Cyber Security Centre to Brindabella Business Park in Canberra. This move will bring the policy and operational elements of government closer together, and provide more opportunities for meaningful collaboration with the private sector at a variety of security classification levels.

While an uptick in communications and engagement by government has raised awareness, it is clear that more can be done to communicate the integration of the initiatives within the Cyber Security Strategy, including who does what in government. Responding to that feedback, the Government, through the Office of the Cyber Security Special Adviser, will publish a view of the cyber security ecosystem and the Government’s cyber security governance arrangements, and mature its communications channels to provide more regular progress updates.

The Government, through the Office of the Cyber Security Special Adviser, will also seek to bring more diverse views and expertise into the development of cyber security policy, in effect “crowd sourcing” the identification of issues, priorities and options.

“The Australian Government recognises that cyber security is not a job that government can do alone. Technology connects us all and provides us with unheralded opportunities for innovation and profit, but it also unites us in a shared vulnerability.”

The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security