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Government creates cyber shields to beef up security measures

Government creates cyber shields to beef up security measures

Creates six shields to create a national response to cyber incidents.

Clare O'Neil (Home Affairs Minister)

Clare O'Neil (Home Affairs Minister)

Credit: Supplied

The Australian government is mapping out its Cyber Security Strategy that will see the formation of six cyber shields. 

This was revealed by Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil during the AFR Cyber Summit on 18 September, with more details to emerge later in the year. 

According to O’Neil, these 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.

“By 2030, what we want is citizens and businesses who understand the cyber threat, understand those actions that they can take to protect themselves and have proper support in place so that when they are the victim of cyber attack they’re able to get back up,” O'Neil said. 

The second shield will be centred on safe technology in having clear global standards for digital safety in products that will help drive the development of security into products from their inception, O’Neil explained. 

The third cyber shield involves threat sharing and blocking, exchanging intelligence across the region between the private and public sector.

“It’s one of the most exciting parts of the strategy. So, by 2030, we envision a world where threat intelligence can be exchanged between government and business at real-time machine speed and then threats blocked before they cause any harm to the Australian population,” she said. 

“There’s a lot of inspiring, interesting work to be done here and a lot of things that we can actually do in the short term about it.”

The fourth cyber shield involves protecting access to critical infrastructure. 

“We own critical infrastructure, we deliver essential services and we certainly hold a lot of very sensitive and private data about Australians. So, that’s why part of this year will be about the government lifting up its own cyber defences to make sure we’re protecting our country,” she said. 

The fifth cyber shield will be sovereign capability, where O’Neil said by 2030, she expects Australia to have a thriving cyber ecosystem with the necessary skills.

The final shield involves undertaking coordinated global action and pushing for a more resilient region.

O’Neil explained her plan involves executing the shields in two-year blocks, with the first ‘horizon’ from 2022 to 2025 focused on building strong foundations. 

“As the cyber challenge reshapes, we will take stock and each two years will build out the next phase of this plan that will ultimately see the country surrounded by these six firm shields of protection that will help keep our citizens safe,” she said. 

“We’ve got this really shared clear national imperative to build a cyber safe Australia.”

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Tags Cyber Security StrategyClare O'Neil

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