The Australian federal government has unveiled its 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy, which outlines several initiatives to enhance cybersecurity in the country. The plan comes in response to a surge in cybercrime activities, including high-profile data breaches that affected millions of individuals and businesses.
One of the key points of the strategy involves the commitment to better protect infrastructure and increase cyber awareness through funding cyber education programs. The plan also aims to expand the Digital ID program, which allows online verification without divulging personal data, ultimately minimizing the amount of sensitive information shared with businesses and government services.
Additionally, the government has pledged to develop a “ransomware playbook” for businesses, offering guidance on how to prepare for and respond to cyber attacks. This initiative is a response to the growing threat of ransomware attacks on businesses, as well as concerns about businesses withholding information about the scale and scope of hacks for fear of negative consequences.
Furthermore, the government has expressed its intention to establish a mandatory no-fault reporting scheme to ensure that businesses report ransomware attacks and payments. This national reporting scheme aims to provide a clear and consistent process for businesses to report cyber incidents, addressing concerns about the lack of transparency in reporting cyber incidents.
The plan also includes measures to evaluate the cyber safety of smart devices, although this would be a voluntary scheme designed in collaboration with industry stakeholders. Additionally, the government is considering legislation to create a “legal safe harbor” for businesses in the event of cyber attacks, similar to measures in place for agencies in the United States.
In a bid to strengthen the country’s cyber defense capabilities, Australia aims to attract highly skilled migrants to bolster its cyber workforce. This move aligns with the broader goal of working with international partners to deter malicious cyber activity by publicly imposing sanctions on those involved in major cyber attacks.
Overall, the government has committed over $586 million to implement the strategy, supplementing the $2.3 billion already allocated to cybersecurity efforts. These initiatives aim to address the evolving cyber threats facing Australia and protect individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure from cybercriminals. Cyber Security and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil emphasized the importance of bolstering cybersecurity in the face of growing cyber threats, noting that cybersecurity also presents opportunities for job growth and product development.
The plan’s unveiling comes in the wake of reports from the nation’s digital spy agency indicating a 23% increase in cybercrime activities from the previous year. With cyber threats on the rise, the Australian government is taking proactive measures to fortify its cybersecurity infrastructure and combat cybercrime effectively.