CYBER WARS: Australia ramps up cybersecurity defences by $1.35bn

- July 1, 2020 2 MIN READ
Image: Cybermen, Dr Who
The Australian government is ramping up its cybersecurity defences, announcing on Tuesday that it will spend $1.35 billion over 10 years to enhance the national capabilities and assistance via the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

Dubbed the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, the focus will range from cyber threats, to disrupting foreign cybercriminals and partnerships with industry to protect individuals, small businesses and critical infrastructure.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government’s goal was to protect the nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty.

“My government’s record investment in our nation’s cybersecurity will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe,” he said.

The CESAR package includes:

New capabilities to disrupt and defeat malicious cyber activity, providing greater capacity to take the fight to cybercriminals offshore and to neutralise and block emerging cyber threats to Australia, including:

  •  $31 million+ to enhance the ability of Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to disrupt cybercrime offshore, and provide assistance to federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies.
  • $35 million+ to deliver a new cyber threat-sharing platform, for industry and government to share intelligence about malicious cyber activity, and block emerging threats in near real-time.
  • $12 million+ towards new strategic mitigations and active disruption options for the ASD and Australia’s major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity by blocking known malicious websites and computer viruses.

To deal with malicious cyber activity the package includes

  • $118 million+ for ASD to expand its data science and intelligence capabilities, including the identification of emerging cyber threats to Australia.
  • $62 million to deliver a national situational awareness capability for the ASD to understand and respond to cyber threats on a national scale. This includes informing vulnerable sectors of the economy about threats most likely to impact them, coupled with tailored advice and assistance.
  • $20 million to establish cutting-edge research laboratories to better understand threats to emerging technology, ensuring that ASD continues to provide timely and authoritative advice about the most secure approaches for organisations to adopt new technology.

The package also includes a $470 million investment to expand our cyber security workforce, with the creation of over 500 new jobs within ASD. Anyone interested in a job on that from can check out the options at asd.gov.au/careers.

The remaining details of the CESAR Package will be detailed in the government’s upcoming 2020 Cyber Security Strategy.

Defence minister Senator Reynolds, said the package will enable ASD and Australia’s major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity from reaching millions of Australians.

“This package is one part of our $15 billion investment in cyber and information warfare capabilities that will form part of Defence’s 2020 Force Structure Plan to address the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape,” she said.