A week on from the announcement of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy, Kinetic IT’s Kevin O’Sullivan outlines what the seven-year plan means for PROTECT+ customers.
The Australian Cyber Security Strategy is here – what does it means for you?
Australia is set to become a world leader in cyber security. In the newly announced Australian Cyber Security Strategy, the Federal government will invest in several key ‘cyber shields’ to bolster our nation’s efforts to defend citizens and businesses from malicious attacks – which now occur on average every six minutes.
In the week since it was released, the strategy has been welcomed by industry players and advocates alike – including Kinetic IT and our PROTECT+ cyber security practice. The seven-year strategy sets an ambitious vision for Australia’s cyber landscape by 2030. With higher expectations of both government and industry, the strategy is set to drive and stimulate much needed change.
As a cyber security services provider, here are our key insights of what the Australian Cyber Security Strategy will do for our customers.
Clear rules of engagement
In the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security, keeping up with advances in technology and human behaviour is essential. The headline news out of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy is the creation of six ‘cyber shields’ to help defend our citizens and businesses from cyber threats. Each shield provides an additional layer of defence, therefore making Australia a harder target.
The Australian Government will work with industry to reinforce these shields and build our national cyber resilience. As a customer, you can expect to see clear rules of engagement and alignment across providers, giving you confidence in the services you procure from our industry. Kinetic IT’s PROTECT+ practice is aligned to the strategy’s vision, as well as our industry peers. This is good news for organisations who need to seek out cyber security professional services – generally, the service you will receive will be the right one.
There will also be more uniform law enforcement and offensive capabilities, with the Australian Federal Police set to step up their efforts to target the highest priority cyber crime threats to Australia, both nationally and internationally. There will be greater cooperation with international partners and agencies, as well as the creation of a ransomware playbook to steer businesses in how to prepare for, deal with, and recover from an attack. With support from a range of federal government agencies, Australian knowledge and our collective ability to fight back will grow significantly.
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Thriving economies, equipped citizens
The Australian Cyber Security Strategy is a catalyst for a transformative shift, challenging both government and industry to raise their expectations and embrace change in the face of a rapidly evolving threat landscape. At the core of the strategy is a commitment to empower citizens and businesses to thrive in the digital age. With estimates placing Australia’s digital economy at $56.7 billion per year by 2030 – aligning with the strategy’s period – it is clear that taking action in cyber security is incumbent on us all.
Recognising the urgency to stay ahead of advancing threats, the strategy places citizens and businesses at the epicentre of protection. This is recognition that the malicious cyber actors carrying out these attacks are evolving rapidly and with increasing sophistication. We need to get in front of this; I’m confident this proactive approach will be achieved through a combination of establishing the six cyber shields with greater education, training and a bolstered workforce – all aspirations of the government’s strategy.
For business, this will see a Small Business Cyber Security Resilience Service established by Treasury, supported by the Australian Signals Directorate and other government agencies to provide free tailored advice and victim support through cyber.gov.au. Small to medium businesses can also tap into cyber ‘health checks’ via the Department of Home Affairs.
For individuals, you’ll see greater engagement and communication through national cyber security awareness campaigns, as well as funding grants for community organisations to deliver cyber security awareness programs, with a focus on diverse groups including remote and regional communities, culturally and linguistically diverse groups, First Nations communities, seniors, and people with disabilities.
More domestic business, greater employment opportunities
One notable addition to the strategy’s cyber shields is shield 5, emphasising ‘sovereign capabilities.’ In short, this will drive greater emphasis in cyber security operations occurring within Australian territory. This is a welcome development for us as an Australian owned and operated business, as well as the requirements for some of our customers to retain data locally. This practice will foster and enhance Australian capabilities across various technical and process domains, as well as protect sensitive information.
As cyber and information security become increasingly prominent with the maturation of the cyber security strategy, access to and development of a skilled and diverse workforce will be pivotal for success across each horizon outlined in the strategy. Moves are under way to open up pathways for skilled professionals to come into Australia, which is news the industry has keenly welcomed. Access to and the development of people and their capabilities will be core to the success of each horizon, and the strategy as a whole.
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Australian Cyber Security Strategy: How will we know we’ve succeeded?
The true litmus test lies in the execution. The objectives within each horizon hinge in ongoing collaboration between the government and industry, with a foundational emphasis on strengthening the first horizon of the strategy being critical. Recognising this, the government has also released the supplementary 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Action Plan (2MB PDF), which plots a course of key deliverables across the first horizon’s two year period, laying the crucial foundation to drive success across horizons 2 and 3 and achieve the strategy’s vision.
While collaboration in the cyber security landscape has historically been challenging, positive strides have been made with the introduction of the cross-industry Executive Cyber Council by the government. However, the industry is eager for more granular details regarding activities aligned with each horizon and a clearer roadmap outlining the approach to genuine collaboration and partnership. The government’s emphasis on flexibility and adaptability reinforces the strategy’s intent, aligning with the broader goal of positioning Australia as a global leader in cyber security by 2030.
The journey ahead demands a united front, with Kinetic IT PROTECT+ fully committed to contributing its expertise and experience to the collaborative efforts envisioned by the strategy. As we navigate these uncharted waters, our focus remains steadfast on innovation, adaptability, and fostering the necessary capabilities to fortify Australia’s cyber security resilience. The seven-year plan is not just a roadmap; it is a shared commitment to a safer, more secure digital future for our nation.
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