Update: Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

The Australian Government is currently developing its next Cyber Security Strategy, which is scheduled for release in the coming months.

The Australian Government 2020 Cyber Security Strategy Industry Advisory Panel has released a report consisting of 60 recommendations to inform the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. The Panel’s 60 recommendations are structured around five key pillars:

  • Deterrence: deterring malicious actors from targeting Australia
  • Prevention: preventing people and sectors in Australian from being compromised online
  • Detection: identifying and responding quickly to cyber security threats
  • Resilience: minimising the impact of cyber security incidents
  • Investment: investing in essential cyber security enablers.

According to the Panel’s Chair, Andrew Penn, “The Panel’s recommendations are designed to create robust and adaptable defences able to evolve as threats evolve and technologies change”.

The cyber threat landscape is growing in complexity, as threat actors rapidly develop more sophisticated hacking techniques and technologies and the digital economy continues to grow. As such, a revised Cyber Security Strategy designed to adapt and inform Australia’s cyber defences is important.  

The Panel’s report highlighted that limited time and resources of small business owners are the key drivers of poor cyber security practices of SMEs (page 28). Susie Jones, CEO of Cynch has stated “Without urgent attention to this critical segment of the economy, small businesses will be left to the whims of cyber criminals and hackers for years to come.”

Australia must be ready to guard against cyber threats at all levels of the economy, from entities responsible for national critical infrastructure to vulnerable groups in the community, including families and small to medium enterprises. The Australian Government has advised the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy will seek to improve assistance and support to individuals, families and small businesses.

As we move into the next century, with the use of digital technology shaping how we work, live, study and consume goods and services, it seems prudent that all individuals and sectors of the economy are supported and guided by the Australian Government to protect themselves from cyber threats.  

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