Australian Cyber Security Strategy Garners Industry Support for Bolstering National Resilience

The recently unveiled federal government’s cyber security strategy in Australia has received acclaim from industry groups as a pivotal asset for the nation’s economy and community resilience.

Kate Pounder, CEO of the Tech Council of Australia (TCA), hailed the strategy as a significant step towards fortifying national cyber capabilities. Pounder highlighted the strategy’s comprehensive nature in addressing escalating cyber threats and data breaches, emphasizing its role in aligning Australia with global best practices.

Acknowledging the absence of a singular solution, Pounder stressed the need for a collaborative and multi-faceted approach involving government, industry, and the community to counter cybercriminal activities effectively. The TCA, representing 160 members from Australia’s tech sector, lauded the strategy’s potential to enhance the lives of Australian citizens.

Pounder expressed contentment with the regulatory response following a series of impactful cyber incidents affecting millions of Australians in the past year, commending the strategy’s focus on enhancing cyber security skills, leveraging technological solutions, aiding consumers and small businesses, and updating legal frameworks.

Applauding Clare O’Neil for her vision and engagement with industry stakeholders, Pounder affirmed the council’s support for the minister’s aspiration to establish Australia as the world’s most cyber-secure nation by 2030.

Minister Clare O’Neil recently introduced an $11 million program aimed at bolstering cyber resilience among small businesses, acknowledging their vulnerability to cyber incidents. The initiative intends to offer step-by-step assistance post-cyber attacks, particularly crucial for the SME community comprising 2.5 million small businesses.

O’Neil underscored the government’s commitment to support small businesses in navigating the complex realm of cyber security, emphasizing the significance of the cyber security strategy in augmenting such assistance.

Moreover, recent government reforms focusing on privacy laws seek to safeguard SMEs from cybercriminal targeting. Additionally, a $7.2 million voluntary cyber health-check program enables businesses to self-assess their cyber security maturity.

Identified within the strategy are six shields, with ‘strong businesses and citizens’ forming a central component. O’Neil emphasized the pivotal role of uplifting small business cyber security in ensuring a resilient and secure nation.

The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) also endorsed the government’s initiatives, acknowledging the high concern for cyber risks among small businesses, which annually face an estimated $2 billion loss.

CEO Luke Achterstraat highlighted the financial toll of cyber incidents on small businesses and welcomed the ease of reporting obligations through a single online portal, aiming to reduce red tape and facilitate reporting.

The cyber security strategy, shaped by an expert advisory board featuring Andrew Penn, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld, and Rachael Falk, invited responses until April this year, culminating in a collaborative effort to fortify Australia’s cyber defenses.

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