Government eyes increased IoT security, new plan to tackle cyber crime

Government releases first annual update to national cyber security strategy

A new National Plan to Combat Cybercrime, collaboration with industry to boost the security of Internet of Things devices, and work on reducing supply chain risks to government IT systems are some of the next steps in the government’s national cyber security strategy.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday announced the release of the government’s first annual update (PDF) to its cyber security strategy.

“Since the launch of the Cyber Security Strategy we have seen a rapid growth in interest, energy and focus across the cyber security sector,” the document states.

“The activity across the Australian economy has outstripped expectation. Australia ranks fourth globally in patent flings in cyber security research and development. Not only have the initiatives under the Cyber Security Strategy had a direct effect, but industry, academia and government agencies have increased their rate of engagement on cyber security.”

“This is growing into a thriving community that will help protect Australia’s economy and continue to grow into a valuable and profitable industry sector,” the document adds.

Turnbull launched the strategy in April 2016, outlining 33 cyber security initiatives worth $231.1 million.

The update states the government will accelerate the rollout of the Joint Cyber Security Centre program. The first centre was launched in Brisbane earlier this year.

Later this year additional centres will launch in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. An Adelaide centre will launch in the first half of next year.

Today will see the launch of Australia’s first Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan — an initiative focused on proposals to boost the local cyber security industry.

The cyber security update states that government is considering additional ways of helping boost the security of Australian SMBs.

“Consultation has commenced with both small and large businesses and industry associations about developing a targeted approach,” the update states.

“Initiatives will take account of the reality of the environment in which these businesses operate, where time and resources are not readily available to tackle what can seem to be an insurmountable problem. This will complement the Cyber Security Strategy commitment to expand the services of the Council of Registered Ethical Security and Testers Australia and New Zealand and provide grants to small business to access these services, which will commence in 2018.”

Although the update is upbeat about the “rapid growth in interest, energy and focus across the cyber security sector” in the 12 months since the strategy launched, it also acknowledges some government failures, including the problems that beset the 2016 Census.

“The #Censusfail of 2016 afforded Government an opportunity to look introspectively at how cyber security is implemented,” the update states.

“From system design to contract management, there were lessons for all government agencies. As a result, we will see greater awareness of cyber security at the executive level, increased understanding and uptake of cloud services, and the security of online systems being assessed with more rigour – ensuring the Australian public trust the government to deliver securely online.”

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