The Victorian government has become the first state in Australia to launch its own Cyber Security Strategy.
As part of a long term plan by the Daniel Andrews government to ensure government services and information are kept safe from cyber threats, the Cyber Security Strategy has been designed to shift from an agency-by-agency approach, to a whole of government approach.
Cyber threats are a significant danger to government property and assets, such as utilities like gas, electricity, water, and even private information about citizens.
The state government is particularly vigilant about threats posed by organised criminals, political ‘hacktivists’ and even foreign governments using cyber space to infiltrate, steal from and disrupt government services.
‘The scale of incidents and attempted disruption is unprecedented, with the methods used to attack digital services increasing in complexity and sophistication,’ the state government says.
As part of the Cyber Security Strategy, the state government will:
- Appoint a Chief Information Security Officer within Department of Premier and Cabinet to oversee the government response to the ongoing cyber threats and co-ordinate cross government action
- Develop cyber emergency governance arrangements with Emergency Management Victoria, so that risks are better understood and planned for as part of ongoing work to protect government assets and services
- Strengthen partnerships across all levels of Government and the private sector to share best practice, intelligence and insights
- Rationalise and better co-ordinate the procurement of proven cyber security services
- Develop a workforce plan to attract, develop and retain skilled cyber security public sector workers
- Present a quarterly cyber security briefing to the Victorian Secretaries Board and the State Crisis and Resilience Committee, so Government is better informed of cyber security issues and assessments
Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings said as organised crime and others become more sophisticated in hacking and disrupting digital services, it’s crucial government steps up to better protect against these cyber security threats.
“Victoria’s first ever Cyber Security Strategy ensures we can stay ahead of the cyber criminals and develop the infrastructure, systems and processes needed to protect government services and information,” Mr Jennings said.
He also made the policy a factor in relation to employment, saying that “this is also good for jobs and our economic prosperity, as we build upon Victoria’s position as the tech capital of Australia and a world-leader in tackling cyber-threats.”
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said Victoria is already a hub of digital innovation, “so it makes sense that we use our existing tech knowledge and talent pool to be a hub of cyber security as well.”
“The cyber security industry is growing quickly and will surpass $100 billion in value in the next few years. It’s an industry that will create jobs and boost our economy and we need to be a big part of it.”