Insights: Article

The Australian Government Cyber Security Strategy Launch – A Close-Up View

Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull unveiled the long-awaited and highly anticipated national Cyber Security Strategy in Sydney on Thursday 21 April, to which Kinetic IT’s Principal Security Consultant, Tony Campbell, was invited.

Afterwards, we had a chat with Tony as well as his colleagues in our Cyber Security Group, Kevin O’Sullivan (Director of Security Services) and Chris Bolan (Manager of the Security Operations Centre).

“This is an important initiative for Australia. The strategy focuses on developing five pillars that will help orchestrate the defensive measures of government, industry, education and citizens. That should create a relationship between government and business that has not been apparent in the past.” Campbell said.

The five pillars of the Cyber Security Strategy are:

A national cyber partnership: where governments, business and universities (and research organisations) will collaborate to build a secure and digital economy

Strong cyber defences: will be established to increase national resilience through defence and national security agencies bolstering our national defences against foreign attackers

Global responsibility and influence: Australia will actively promote an open, free and secure cyberspace for our citizens to use and thrive in

Growth and innovation: Our businesses must have the confidence, trust and assurance to grow and prosper through cyber security innovation

Building a cyber-smart nation: Every single Australian will be given the skills and knowledge to survive and thrive in the digital age

Furthermore, Prime Minister Turnbull pledged $47 million into establishing joint public-private threat intelligence sharing centres in each of Australia’s capital cities, along with $30 million that will fund a dedicated, industry-led Cyber Security Growth Centre.

“It’s encouraging to see leadership from the Federal Government in Australia’s cyber security landscape, aligning our strategic capabilities on the global stage alongside the UK, US, Israel, and New Zealand,” said Campbell.

From an IT issue, to a boardroom issue

“The Prime Minister spoke of some of the attacks that we’ve seen here in Australia over the last year or so, such as the website attacks which affected thousands of David Jones’s and Kmart’s customers when their personal information was stolen, along with the more insidious attacks on government departments, such as the Bureau of Meteorology,” Campbell recalled.

“The threat landscape is frightening,” added Kevin O’Sullivan, Director of Security Services. “Our cyber security analysts are tracking dozens of new threats every day. With the rapid move to digital services across all aspects of society, the custodians of that information have a big responsibility to protect these digital assets. It’s time to get on the front foot. This is no longer an IT issue and it’s getting more and more attention at the board level in Australian organisations.”

Threats escalating at an alarming rate

According to Campbell, “The strategy outlines a strategic vision for Australia’s approach to what’s seen as the biggest threat to our interaction with technology and the internet in the coming years. On a global scale, the cost of cybercrime is expected to grow as large as $2.1 trillion by 2019, so Australia’s new strategy is timely and well received by the industry.”

Christopher Bolan, Manager of Kinetic IT’s Security Operations Centre, added “Attacks are getting increasingly sophisticated, with multiple layers of obfuscation and encryption hiding the malware inside well-crafted phishing campaigns that mine social media sites to make them as believable as possible.

“We’re continually looking for the latest attacks that might slip through traditional network security defences, where we provide the best line of defence – highly trained security analysts who are looking for intrusions on our customers’ networks all day, every day. I am proud to say that we use the most advanced technology on the planet to keep the wolves from our customers’ doors.”