Federal Government to pump $1.35 billion into Nation's cyber security capabilities

Federal Government to pump $1.35 billion into Nation's cyber security capabilities

More than $1.35 billion will be invested into the nation's cyber security capabilities over the next decade by the Federal Government.

$1.35 billion will be delivered to the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), whilst $1.6 million will be provided to enhance the cyber security of Australia's universities.

The larger package, known as the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, will enable the Australian Government to identify and disrupt more cyber threats.

The funding comes just over a week after Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed a sophisticated cyber attacked launched by a state-based actor was targeting Australian organisations on a broad scale.

The PM disclosed on 19 June that an entity was targeting a variety of Australian organisations across a range of sectors including all levels of government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers, and operators of other critical infrastructure.

Announcing the funding today PM Morrison says the Federal Government's investment will protect Australia from similar attacks in the future.

"The Federal Government's top priority is protecting our nation's economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines that," says Morrison.

"My Government's record investment in our nation's cyber security will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe."

The $1.35 billion CESAR package will deploy targeted funding, including:

  • Over $31 million to enhance the ability of ASD to disrupt cybercrime offshore, taking the fight to foreign criminals that seek to target Australians, and providing assistance to federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies.
  • Over $35 million to deliver a new cyber threat-sharing platform, enabling industry and government to share intelligence about malicious cyber activity, and block emerging threats in near real-time.
  • Over $12 million towards new strategic mitigations and active disruption options, enabling ASD and Australia's major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity from ever reaching Australians by blocking known malicious websites and computer viruses at speed.
  • Over $118 million for ASD to expand its data science and intelligence capabilities.
  • Over $62 million to deliver a national situational awareness capability to better enable 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 about how to mitigate cyber threats.
  • Over $20 million to establish 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 $470 million to expand on the country's cyber security workforce, with the creation of more than 500 jobs within the ASD.

The Federal Government has also dedicated $1.6 million to enhance the cyber security of Australia's universities.

The funding will help create a threat intelligence-sharing network, will assist in sector-wide threat modelling, and form a national cybersecurity forum that will meet three times a year.

"Enhancing cyber security in the higher education sector has been a core task of Government, universities and national security agencies working through the University Foreign Interference Taskforce," says Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan.

"The development of threat modelling and intelligence sharing between universities and government will help identify new and emerging threats as well as best-practice responses.

"A unified approach to cyber security gives Australia the opportunity to harness the innovative power of its universities to strengthen our national security and advance our nation as a leader in cyber security."

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