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Govt launches new $587 million cyber security strategy

Govt launches new $587 million cyber security strategy

Forms part of 2023-2030 Cyber Security Strategy.

Clare O'Neil (Minister for Cyber Security)

Clare O'Neil (Minister for Cyber Security)

Credit: Supplied

The federal government will be launching its $587 million cyber security strategy following a year’s worth of consultation with industry heavyweights. 

According to the unfolding strategy, the $587 million is designed to fund an “action plan” that will sit on top of $2.3 billion for existing initiatives until 2030, according to multiple news outlets. 

The biggest chunk of the funding will be $290.8 million for support for small and medium-sized businesses, building public awareness, fighting cyber crime, breaking the ransomware business model and bolstering identity security. 

A further $143.6 million will be invested in strengthening critical infrastructure and improving government cyber security. 

Telecommunication providers will move from being regulated under the Telecommunications Act to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act “commensurate with the criticality and risk profile of the sector”. 

Earlier this week, the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) security strategy unveiled $7.2 million to establish a voluntary cyber health-check program that will allow businesses to undertake a free, tailored self-assessment of their cyber security maturity. 

According to a release from Minister for Cyber Security Clare O’Neil, SMBs can use this health check to determine the strength of their cyber security measures and access educational tools and materials they need to upskill. 

The federal government will also invest $11 million in the Small Business Cyber Resilience Service which will provide one-on-one assistance, including walking them through the steps to recover from a cyber attack.   

“We understand the challenges that small businesses face in the complex world of cyber security, but they are not on their own,” O’Neil said. “The Australian government’s cyber security strategy will make sure the support is available to help them understand and improve their own cyber security. 

“The strategy is underpinned by six cyber shields, with Strong businesses and citizens at the core of these shields. Uplifting the cyber security of our small businesses is integral to a cyber secure and resilient nation, and this dedicated support will make a huge difference in their preparedness and resilience." 

In September, O'Neil hinted at the new strategy, which would see the formation of six cyber shields, which was revealed by O’Neil during the AFR Cyber Summit on 18 September, with more details to emerge later in the year. 

According to the Minister, the shields will help protect businesses, organisations and citizens, creating a “cohesive and planned national response”. 

The first shield will look at creating strong citizens and businesses in understanding they have the power to protect themselves.

The strategy follows notable incidents such as cyber attacks on Optus, Medibank and recently DW World, which runs several ports in Australia.

Last year, before these attacks, the Cyber Security Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) urged the Federal Government and businesses to ramp up their cyber security measures amid increasing threats due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

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