The state government of Victoria in Australia has allocated
A$17.6 million in 2018/19 budget to help deliver the state’s first ever Cyber
Security Strategy. This strategy will help protect the privacy of Victorians,
while safeguarding government networks and agencies from hacking threats.
The Victorian press release notes that Government networks
across the world are regularly targeted by cyber-attacks. There is an
increasing shift from unsophisticated lone hackers towards organised criminals,
political ‘hacktivists’ and foreign governments using cyber space to
infiltrate, steal from and disrupt government services.
In the past, individual government agencies set their own
security measures. This funding intends to ensure that the Victorian Government
has the strong cyber security capabilities required to protect the delivery of
public services through a whole-of-government approach.
In August 2017, the state released
the Cyber Security Strategy, building on the principles of being collaborative,
enabling, proven, scalable, proportional and sustainable. The strategy has 23
points and is organised under five priorities of engagement, planning,
partnering, service maturity and capability.
In October, the Government appointed
Mr John O’Driscoll as its first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). The
appointment of a CISO was a key component of the strategy.
The CISO oversees the state’s response to ongoing cyber
threats, and the development of governance arrangements that allow Emergency
Management Victoria (EMV) to act in the case of cyber emergencies. EMV has the
lead role in maintaining and coordinating whole-of-government strategy and
policy for critical infrastructure resilience in the state.
As part of the strategy, the
state government will also 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 and develop a workforce plan to attract, develop and retain
skilled cyber security public sector workers.
According to the press release, the funding boost will also
assist in attracting, developing and retaining skilled cyber security public
sector workers, as Victoria builds upon its position as a world-leader in
tackling cyber-threats. The state is home to CSIRO’s
Data61 Cybersecurity Innovation Hub, the Oceania Cyber
Security Centre, a collaboration
with Oxford University’s Global Cyber Security Capability Centre, and
a Melbourne-based node of the Commonwealth Government’s Cyber Growth Centre in
The Budget also includes A$2.6 million to assist the Office
of the Victorian Information Commissioner to better support government in
protecting the privacy of Victorians.
Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings said, “We’re
getting on with delivering Victoria’s first ever Cyber Security Strategy so we
can stay ahead of cyber criminals and protect Victorians’ personal information.
This boost will also build upon our state’s position as the tech capital of
Australia and a world-leader in tackling cyber threats.”
“Cyber security is crucial to our state – not only does it
help us protect local businesses from cybercrime, but it’s a growing industry
that is becoming a big part of our economy,” said Minister for Innovation and
the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis.