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Australia’s 2020 Cybersecurity Strategy

3 min read

Keeping Australians secure online is key to protecting our economy, national security and sovereignty.

The Morrison Government’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy outlines how they keep Australian families and businesses secure online, protect and strengthen the security and resilience of Australia’s critical infrastructure and ensure law enforcement agencies have the powers and technical capabilities to detect, target, investigate and disrupt cybercrime, including the dark web.

The 2020 Cyber Security Strategy is the Australian Government financial commitment to cybersecurity and builds on the strong foundations established by its predecessor.

The Strategy invests $1.67 billion to build new cybersecurity and law enforcement capabilities, protect the essential services upon which the government depend, assist businesses to protect themselves, and raise the community’s understanding of how to be secure online.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the role of the Australian Government is to keep Australian’s safe, and it is important now, more than ever to protect Australians online from those who seek to do harm.

“The 2020 Strategy means that cybersecurity is a fundamental part of everyday life, so Australians can reap the benefits of the internet and the digital economy safely, and with confidence,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister said that digital economy is the future of Australia’s economy as demonstrated during the coronavirus pandemic. The government is seeing how much Australian’s are interacting online for work, healthcare, education, entertainment and shopping.

“We want to enlist all Australians in the fight to create a more cyber safe Australia – you are our secret weapon in our cyber security strategy. And we want to give you the tools to protect your family and your business. We will protect our vital infrastructure and services from cyber attacks. We will support businesses to protect themselves so they can succeed in the digital economy. We will track criminals in the darkest corners of the internet to protect our families and children,” the Prime Minister said.

The Government is determined to disrupt the serious criminal activity saturating the dark web and will introduce legislation to bolster the powers of the Australian Federal Police and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to identify individuals and their networks engaging in serious criminal activity on the dark web.

Powers that allow offensive disruption capabilities will give enforcement ability to take the fight to the digital frontdoor of those using anonymising technology for evil purposes.

The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said the protection of children and the Australian community from reprehensible criminal activity remains the Government’s highest priority.

“Paedophiles are targeting kids on line in chat groups. Cyber criminals are scamming money off our elderly by stealing their internet banking details and businesses are being locked out of their systems by ransomware attacks,” Dutton said.

“Families and businesses are all spending more time working and studying online and we need to make it safer. They are stealing the identities and data from unsuspecting Australians. We will continue to ensure agencies have the powers and capabilities they need to identify and disrupt threats to the safety of Australians – particularly children, the most vulnerable members of our community,” he said.

Not all cybersecurity risks can be addressed by government. The strategy outlines steps businesses of all sizes can take to protect themselves and their customers.

To support improved cybersecurity in the community, the Government will expand efforts to raise awareness of cyber security threats and drive uptake of safe and secure online behaviours across the community, expand 24/7 cybersecurity advice hotline for families and older Australians, increase funding for victim support; and introduce a voluntary Internet of Things Code of Practice to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions.

Improving the security and resilience of critical infrastructure entities is crucial to protecting economy, security, and sovereignty.

The government is introducing a security framework to bolster the nation’s resilience and ensure they can act quickly in an emergency. The framework includes security obligations for critical infrastructure providers and Government assistance to industry in response to immediate and serious cyber attacks on Australia’s most critical systems.

“Reforms to strengthen the security and resilience of Australia’s critical infrastructure would significantly boost Australia’s ability to deter, prevent and respond to the most significant cyber attacks. The Government will work with owners and operators of critical infrastructure to update legislation to ensure that critical infrastructure sectors deliver their essential services with security front of mind,” Dutton said.

“Agencies will be equipped to help address sophisticated threats, particularly to the essential services all Australian’s rely on – everything from electricity and water, to healthcare and groceries,” he said.

The Strategy has been informed by extensive community consultation and expert advice from Government’s Industry Advisory Panel, chaired by Telstra CEO Andy Penn.


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