Australia is leading the way when it comes to improving overall cybersecurity for the country. The government recently announced the Australian Cyber Security Strategy aimed at improving IT infrastructure to maintain a high level of security for agencies, businesses, and users. Their goal is to create the most cyber secure nation in 2023.
Australian Cybersecurity Challenges Lead to Change
Like other countries around the globe, Australia has faced an onslaught of cybersecurity incidents threatening its privacy and security. According to Arctic Wolf’s 2023 Trends Report, 36% of organizations in the ANZ region suffered a ransomware attack in 2022. In addition, two of the biggest breaches of 2022 occurred in Australia, as Optus and Medibank were attacked, resulting in the theft of personal data from over 20 million users.
A report from the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) indicated that state-sponsored attackers from China, Iran, and Russian groups have made Australian cyberspace a key battleground. Australians have also succumbed to several threats impacting government agencies and utility organizations, including CS energy in 2021, which is responsible for 10% of the country’s power.
As a result, the AU government has released a discussion paper explaining how the attacks prove their government is not nearly prepared enough to respond to future threats, and laying out how the government can achieve their previously proposed 2023-2030 Australian Cybersecurity Strategy.
The Discussion Paper: Achieving The 2023-2030 Australian Cybersecurity Strategy Goals
The released paper lays out the core cyber security policy areas and asks for input from experts in the field on how to create the most secure environment possible.
The key areas the government in their future cybersecurity strategy wants to address include:
- Enhancing and harmonizing regulatory frameworks
- Improving Australia’s international strategy on cybersecurity
- Securing government systems
The discussion paper also outlines security areas for the nation to address by 2030:
- Improving strategies for cyber threat sharing
- Supporting the skills pipeline for Australia’s cybersecurity efforts
- Developing frameworks to respond to major cyber incidents
- Investing in the cyber security ecosystem
The paper also asks key questions about regulatory reforms. Some address ransom payment best practices, securing multilateral partnerships, upholding and creating international cyber security standards, and expanding information sharing across the cybersecurity industry.
Australia is Leading the Way in Cybersecurity Strategies
MIT Technology Review has already ranked Australia in the top spot when it comes to the most digital-forward economies. This includes their preparation for potential threats and their ability to successfully respond and recover from cyberattacks. Australia’s score is as follows:
Critical infrastructure: 8.2
Cybersecurity resources: 7.22
Organizational capacity: 8.45
Policy commitment: 7.72
Australia outpaces other nations in all areas except for cybersecurity resources. Australia has already adopted practices that put them in a strong defensive position, including increasing machine learning budgets by 50%, sharing security analytics on a wide scale, and a willingness to discuss the country’s security needs.
Importance of Australia’s Cybersecurity Strategy
Australia’s security infrastructure and cyber security goals for the upcoming decade set the bar high for other nations. Instead of settling on bare minimum protections, the nation is taking cybersecurity seriously with a proactive and preventative approach. The Australian cyber security strategy is a crucial step toward a more connected and secure global infrastructure that protects both national security and consumer privacy.
Learn more about the top cybersecurity concerns in the ANZ region with our survey results.
Explore how Arctic Wolf can help your organization take a holistic, proactive approach to security operations.
Learn how to implement the ACSC Essential Eight Mitigation Strategies.