Australia plans robust cyber defence

Australia’s Home Affairs Minister has outlined plans for a new cyber defence strategy which will involve the creation of six so-called ‘cyber shields’.

Speaking at the AFR Cyber Summit, Clare O’Neil said the first shield is to raise awareness among citizens and businesses on a mass scale – so they “understand that they actually do have the power to protect themselves.”

The second shield will see the establishment of a minimum cyber security standard for digital products, while the third is “world-class threat sharing and threat blocking”.

The fourth shield is about access to critical infrastructure, including that which is government-owned – though no specific details have been provided at this stage.

The other shields involve building domestic capability, particularly a pipeline of skills, and striking close alliances globally.

“What’s very important always to emphasise in this conversation is that success here does not mean a world without cyber-attacks,” she said. “No government can promise this. What it will mean is having the clear national approach that will build to more than the sum of the parts. It means a world where we’re using every piece of information that all your companies have about the cyber threat so we can build a clear national picture and respond to it as quickly as possible.”

“It’s a world where when we do come under cyber-attacks we’re able to bounce back quickly and where government is a convenor and a leader and a partner to all of you in helping tackle that challenge.”