HomeRisk ManagementsThe Australian federal budget highlights investment in cybersecurity

The Australian federal budget highlights investment in cybersecurity

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In a significant move to bolster cybersecurity and enhance service delivery, Services Australia is set to receive a substantial investment of $1.8 billion over the next three years. This funding is aimed at improving the cyber security environment within the organization, as well as hiring additional frontline and service delivery staff to manage claims and enhance emergency response capabilities. The government has also allocated $23.5 million over a two-year period to support fraud investigation and response activities as part of the Fraud Fusion Taskforce.

Moreover, Services Australia will receive $46 million over the next two years to continue operating and enhancing the identity exchange that facilitates transactions across the Australian Government Digital ID System. This funding will also support the function of Digital ID System Administrator. The expansion of the Digital ID System aims to provide a secure, convenient, voluntary, and inclusive way for individuals to verify their identity online. With more than 12 million Australians already having a myGovID, this initiative will eliminate the need for individuals to provide copies of their ID documents to businesses or the government, thereby reducing the risks associated with data breaches and cyber-attacks.

While the Digital ID rollout is seen as a positive step towards combating online fraud and identity theft, some experts have raised concerns about the lack of focus on proactive cybersecurity measures. Pieter Danhieux, CEO of Secure Code Warrior, emphasized the importance of investing in preventative security measures to complement reactive initiatives like the Digital ID System.

In addition to the investments in cybersecurity, the government has allocated $8 million over the next three years to support the Australian Sports Foundation in completing technology upgrades, including enhancing cyber security for its fundraising platform. This move aims to strengthen the security of online transactions and protect sensitive donor information.

To address challenges within the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Australian government has committed $160.7 million over the next four years, followed by $24.6 million per year for ongoing upgrades to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission’s information technology systems. These upgrades seek to enhance the safety of NDIS participants, reduce regulatory burdens on NDIS providers, and improve overall cybersecurity measures within the NDIS.

Furthermore, investments in cybersecurity extend to Australia’s diplomatic network, with over $227.8 million allocated for upgrading the country’s communications infrastructure and overseas properties to enhance resilience to cyber threats. The establishment of a technology foreign interference task force, led by the Department of Home Affairs, will receive $4.2 million over the next four years, followed by ongoing funding to safeguard sensitive information from espionage, sabotage, and foreign interference.

Overall, the government’s budget allocations reflect a commitment to strengthening cybersecurity and enhancing service delivery across various sectors. With a focus on proactive cybersecurity measures, alongside investments in critical infrastructure and information technology systems, Australia aims to mitigate cyber threats and safeguard sensitive information in an increasingly digital landscape.

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