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Western Australian Government to improve public sector cybersecurity

Western Australian Government to improve public sector cybersecurity

According
to a recent
press release
, the Government of Western Australia announced that a
new Office of Digital Government will be created to improve cybersecurity and
drive digital capability.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly
stated that creating this office within DPC ensures that digital capabilities
are embedded within the McGowan Government's public sector renewal program and
are better co-ordinated and implemented.

To
be launched on 1 July, the Office of Digital Government under Department of the
Premier and Cabinet will drive the public sector's digital capabilities, with a
focus on improving government cybersecurity practices to keep Western
Australians' information safe. The Office will also have a dedicated
cybersecurity team to develop whole-of-government cybersecurity initiatives

According
to Auditor
General's 2017 Information Systems Audit report
, information
security and business continuity have shown no improvement in the last nine
years, and that only seven out of the 46 agencies audited met expectations for
managing their computer environments effectively.

The
McGowan Government is implementing the recommendations of the
Service Priority Review
, which found that the Government needs to
strengthen cybersecurity, ICT performance and data sharing, and increase online
service delivery.

The
Service Priority Review examines the function, operations and culture of WA's
public sector. Digital transformation for
improving transactional service design and delivery by harnessing technology is
one of the areas the report looked at. The interim report noted that there
are pockets of innovation in online service delivery but, in general, online
service delivery across the public sector is inconsistent and fragmented. The
final report was presented to the State Government in 2017.

To
improve cybersecurity and drive digital capability, the McGowan Government is allocating
A$7.4 million in funding for the new Office of Digital Government and more than
A$500,000 for the new cybersecurity team to develop whole-of-government
cybersecurity initiatives.

The
establishment of a Cyber Security Reference Group, comprising of
representatives from nine public sector agencies, will support development of a
whole-of-government approach to cybersecurity.

At
the same time, the Government will partner Edith Cowan University, to collaborate
on projects that improve the security of the Western Australia public
sector. 

"These
initiatives build on action already taken since March 2017, including a revised
whole-of-government Digital Security Policy; cybersecurity briefings for
directors general and CEOs; and a $5.6 million investment in the national Cyber
Security Cooperative Research Centre, headquartered at ECU Joondalup,"
Minister Kelly added.