Optimising Australia's response to the cyber challenge

Defence Information technology National security Australia

This report the nature of the cyber challenge confronting Australia.

It reviews how government, industry and the public are responding to the threat both individually and collectively from both a domestic and international perspective.

Produced by the Kokoda Foundation, this report argues that cyber security has become the fundamental weakness in Australia's national security, and that the threat is poorly understood by politicians, business people and the general public.

Authored by former Deputy Chief of Air Force John Blackburn and strategic consultant Gary Waters, the report says that Australia has reached a tipping point where the current trajectory of cyber responses is being rapidly outpaced by the evolving threat.

The report concludes that whilst progress in implementing the government’s 2009 Cyber Security Strategy has been laudable, Australia is not keeping pace with the growing threat and as a result our collective and individual security is being placed at risk.

A number of recommendations are made including:

- The assignment of the lead to coordinate cyber-related security issues across government to the Office of the National Security Adviser;

- Appointing a Minister with oversight responsibility for cyber issues, together with a ministerial committee such as a sub-group of the National Security Committee of Cabinet;

- Developing a National Cyber Strategy to provide a 10-year vision of what needs to be achieved in the security and management of cyberspace in Australia; and,

- Disconnecting the power grid and any control system transporting people, managing gas or petrol production or controlling the flow of water from the wider Internet.

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