NSW Pledges $240 Million For Adoption of Cyber Security Standards

The New South Wales Government has announced a collaboration with AustCyber and Standards Australia to accelerate the adoption of cybersecurity standards across all industries. 

In addition, the NSW government has announced a task force that will focus on the roll-out of high-level cybersecurity practices in the energy, health, financial services, infrastructure and defence sectors. 

According to the NSW Government’s website, the focus of the task force will be on: 

  • Improving the practice of cyber security across Australian businesses
  • Harmonising baseline standards and providing clarity for sector-specific additional standards and guidance
  • Enhancing competitiveness standards by sector for both supplier and consumers
  • Providing greater interoperability
  • Supporting Australian cyber security companies to seize opportunities and go global.

The task force will also provide industry bodies with the clarity they need to improve their baseline cybersecurity standings, and offer guidance to sectors on how they can improve their systems, as well as the cybersecurity standing of their suppliers, and consumers. 

The NSW government says the task force will help organisations grab new opportunities, as well as assist them to expand internationally without sacrificing their information security practices. 

It hopes the $240 million investment, in addition to the roll-out of the task force will make NSW a cybersecurity hub. 

“We know that the current plethora of different security standards make it difficult for government and industry to know what they’re buying when it comes to cyber security,” Customer Services Minister Victor Dominello said. 

“By bringing together industry to identify relevant standards and provide other practical guidance, we aim to make government more secure, whilst providing direction for industry to build their cyber resilience,” he added. 

Preliminary reports have emerged that the Federal Government is looking to implement a set of cyber security guidelines that they hope will improve the information security standings of Australian businesses. 

We reported last week that Federal cybersecurity audits have found “high levels of non-compliance across federal agencies,” demanding a number of key changes be made to ensure government systems are protected from outside attacks. 

Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber has said that digital infrastructure is to play a key role in Australia’s COVID-19 recovery. 

“The economy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has proven Australia can take leaps towards embedding digital technologies, but the quality of this digitalisation and digitalisation along with its trustworthiness is now under immense pressure – and is obviously being targeted by malicious cyber actors.” 

However, as Price explained, “there is a risk underlying the speed of digital transformation in Australia, and the new standards will be critical in helping deliver a consistent, industry-focussed framework for NSW. The newly established task force will help NSW businesses understand what they need to do to tackle the complex challenge of protecting against cyber attacks” 

“This work will also provide a pilot for the rest of the country to enable rapid adoption of consistent, internationally harmonised cyber security standards and guidance,” Price concluded. 

Adrian O’Connell, CEO of Standards Australia has said that he “looks forward to working alongside the NSW Government, AustCyber and the members of the task force in providing information around technical guidance and promoting industry backed security practices through the use of standards.” 

Task force members include the following: 

  • QuickStep CEO and managing director Mark Burgess  
  • QuickStep CFO Alan Tilley 
  • Defence NSW director Peter Scott 
  • Group of Eight CEO Vicki Thomson          
  • Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon or general manager Jill Cainey 
  • Fintech Australia COO Rebecca Schot-Guppy 
  • Australian Health Care & Hospital Association CEO Alison Verhoeven 
  • ANDHealth managing director Bronwyn Le Grice 
  • Australian Private Hospitals Association CEO Michael Roff 
  • Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox 
  • Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton 
  • Australian Information Industry Association general manager Simon Bush  
  • CyberCX CEO John Paitaridis 
  • CISO Lens Founder James Turner 

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