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The New Australian Cyber Security Strategy

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Now, there is no global institution or infrastructure more important to the future prosperity and freedom of our global community than the Internet itself. And in what should be a humbling lesson for politicians and governments, the Internet has grown almost entirely without the direction or control of any government […].

Ensuring that the architecture and administration of global cyberspace remains free of government domination or control is one of the key global strategic issues of our time”.

With these words Australia’s Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull  haslaunched, on April 21,the first Australian Cyber Strategy review since 2009.

Previous governments tried to adopt a strategy but they always stopped.

Now Tunrbull, who’s facing a two months election campaign, has promised $230 million across 53 new initiatives to boost the new strategy.

Canberra’s conservative approach aims to support the existing american driven liberal internet order.

Considering China’s (a major australian business partner) position over the issue, this is a significant political decision.

Australia’s cybersecurity capabilities are meant to attack as well as defend, to protect an open, free and secure cyberspace.

The Strategy establishes five themes of action over the next four years.

The five pillars

A national cyber partnership between government, researchers andbusiness including regular meetings to strengthen leadership and tackle emerging issues.

Cyberstrategy is a top down process, because it is a strategic issue for leaders as well as for It and security staff.

Three actions underpins the first pillar:

  1. Annual cybersecurity leaders meetings;
  2. Appointment of a Minister assisting the Prime Minister for cyber  security;
  3. Improvement of Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) capabilities;

Empower strong cyber defences to better detect, deter and respond

to threats and anticipate risks.

Global Responsibility and influence: Working with international partners through the appointment of a Cyber Ambassador and other channels while building regional cyber capacity to crack down on cybercriminals and shut safe havens for cybercrime.

Growth and Innovation: Helping Australian cyber security businesses to grow and prosper, establishing a Cyber Security Growth Centre with private sector.

Creating a cyber smart nation: establishing Academic Centres ofCyber Security Excellence in universities and fostering high level skills both at managerial and workforce level to tackle the gap by 2020.

Lack of courage?

While action plans to tackle cyber threats are on the way in most advanced economies, the australian blueprint is a bit late and it appears to be conditioned by safe play, addressing the issue in a diplomatic way.

Australia is at the centre of the XXI century leading area, and  should do more, according to some commentators, to improve national awareness on the issue.

Surely, in comparison with billionaire investment made by other countries, australian budget seems too small to make a difference.

Leonardo Pizzuti
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