New joint cyber security centre launched in Sydney

A new joint cyber security centre that promotes collaboration across government, business and academia has launched in Sydney on 21 March by the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, Angus Taylor.

The new Sydney centre is part of the Australian Government's A$47m Joint Cyber Security Centre (JCSC) program, which facilitates stronger partnerships between 101 organisations across private and public sectors, including defence industry, finance, transport, energy, health, mining, and education.

As a JCSC partner organisations can access sensitive information such as cyber threat intelligence and what businesses in their industry, and across different sectors, are doing in response to cyber threats, develop collaborative solutions to cyber security risks and issues affecting your industry and contribute to a common understanding of the cyber security environment.

Currently, there are JCSCs located in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, with the Adelaide centre due to open later in 2018.

The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) Australia – part of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) – is leading the JCSC initiative to establish cyber security centres in key cities across Australia through the Government's 2016 Cyber Security Strategy. The ACSC handles key operational elements of the government’s cyber security capabilities to enable a more complete understanding of sophisticated cyber threats, facilitate faster and more effective responses to significant cyber incidents, and foster better interaction between government and industry partners.

The JCSC governance arrangements consist of a three-tier reporting structure to support the delivery of the JCSC program. Each individual JCSC has a local management committee which oversees the delivery of the national JCSC program at the local level. The local management committee reports to the JCSC Council which is made up of the Chairs of local JCSC Management Committees.

The JCSC national program is overseen by the CEO Level JCSC National Advisory Board, which sets the strategic direction and national scope of activities.

Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor said the Sydney JCSC will help improve Australia's cyber security systems across industry, research and government.

Mr Taylor said, "This is an important step to enhance Australia's defensive cyber capabilities. The JCSC is a critical hub for business and government to improve their cyber security practices and share information in a trusted environment.”

"Cyber security threats are always evolving, so we need to ensure we have a range of strategies in place to protect our digital borders and get on the offensive against cyber attacks," he added.

A number of cyber security exercises have been run across these centres, particularly in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games.

The Sydney JCSC launch event included interactive demonstrations where industry partners participate in responding to simulated cyber security incidents and a "War Games Simulation" with government.

The event centred on a simulated cyber security incident at a fictitious company. Participants used their knowledge, technical skills and tools to investigate the incident, which contained many elements observed in real incidents.

The cyber security experts worked together to solve complex issues and get scores on the leader board, demonstrating how important a combined, team effort is to tackle malicious cyber events.

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