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Australia strengthens cyber security policies for its digital economy

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Australia strengthens cyber security policies for the digital economy

The Australian Government has just released a discussion paper consulting on reforms to strengthen the cyber security of the country’s digital economy, continuing to deliver on key commitments from the $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy 2020.  

Reforms that are currently under consideration include strengthening cyber security standards for the digital economy, providing more transparent information about cyber security and creating stronger legal remedies for consumers.  

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said that with Australian businesses and consumers being more active online than ever before, opportunities for cyber criminals to target such individuals are increasing.  

“The Government is taking action to mitigate the real and present danger that cybercrime presents to Australians and our economy. We cannot allow this criminal activity to become a significant handbrake on our economic growth and digital security,” Minister Andrews said.  

“I want to make sure Australian businesses – big and small – are secure, and consumers are protected. Through this period of consultation, I’m keen to hear from businesses, the critical infrastructure sector, IT experts, and the wider public, about the solutions and mitigations they propose.”  

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said it is critical that the digital economy is protected as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“As Australian businesses increasingly move online, it’s important that they are best able to protect themselves and their customers against cyber security threats, without being concerned that their hard-won profits could become a target for criminals,” Minister Porter said.  

The reformation under the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 builds on the Government’s measures to help businesses improve their cyber security. In line with this are the $8.3 million Cyber Security Connect and Protect Program to uplift the cyber security of small and medium businesses and the $70.3 million Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund to grow Australia’s cyber security workforce.

The consultation came about after the Australian Institute of Criminology released a new report showing the total economic impact of cybercrime on individuals in the Australian economy at $3.5 billion. This includes $1.9 billion lost by Australian victims to cyber crimes. 

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