The Australian federal government is set to appoint a cybersecurity coordinator to oversee efforts to safeguard the country’s networks and systems from cyber threats.
The government plans to make the announcement on Monday, alongside a round table meeting with business and government leaders to discuss cybersecurity issues.
The cybersecurity coordinator will lead the National Office for Cyber Security, which will work across government to strengthen cybersecurity defenses. The new post comes amid growing concerns about cyber attacks that put personal data and services at risk.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil emphasized the need for change, stating that Australia’s policies, laws, and frameworks are not keeping up with the challenges of the digital age.
The government plans to release a discussion paper to explore new policies and seek input from industry, with the aim of making federal laws fit for purpose for the threat landscape.
Reforms to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act are under consideration, with potential changes including expanding the definition of a critical asset to include customer data. T
he government is also proposing a new Cyber Security Act to set standards and obligations for cybersecurity across industry and government.
The government’s expert advisory board, headed by former Telstra CEO Andy Penn, stressed the importance of national resilience in cybersecurity.
Penn emphasized that improving cybersecurity requires a whole-of-nation effort, with government, industry, and the community working together to reduce the number and impact of cyber incidents through improved cyber hygiene and clear guidance on how to respond confidently when they occur.
By creating the cybersecurity coordinator post, the Australian government aims to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity posture, address gaps in current policies and frameworks, and ensure that federal laws are fit for purpose in today’s evolving threat landscape.