New cyber security strategy calls for joint effort between government, business and the community
SAGE Automation, Published: October 2, 2020 - Updated: October 2, 2020 (5 min read)
The global pivot to Work From Anywhere (WFA) in response to COVID-19 restrictions has thrust cyber security to the top of the agenda with unforeseen speed. As more employees connect via home and public networks, companies have been forced to share the responsibility of managing security risks.
This heightened need for collaboration underpins Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020, a federal government plan which maps out Australia’s response to the evolving cyber threat environment facing government, business and citizens. The interconnection of these spheres is detailed and a call to ongoing action for every Australian headlines the government approach, with a promised spend of $1.67 billion over 10 years.
SAGE Group’s Cyber Security Consultant, Mal Frampton, unpacked the plan with Smart Cities Council’s Adam Beck. Mal offered insight into the practical application of the strategy for all Australians and gave the initiatives a thumbs up for covering off on all the key elements of cyber safety. We shared some helpful highlights from the discussion between Mal and Adam below.
Pandemic response highlights the need for shared caution between work and home
Roles and shared responsibilities in cyber security. Image courtesy of Australia’s
Cyber Security Strategy 2020
The overnight merging of personal and professional worlds has come at a dynamic time in the evolution of the digital economy. Layered beneath the mass WFA movement is the boom in deployment of IoT devices and the increasingly rapid uptake of technology in the home.
The opportunity versus threat tension must be walked out carefully, with all sectors of society in lockstep, sharing information between work and home to bolster our collective security.
Mal: Thinking outside the box of how security is applied at work, the question is how can I now apply the same sort of cyber security strategies and utilise those at home and in my personal life as well?
One of the comments that came out of the cyber security strategy made by the Minister was that the response to the pandemic has shown the importance of secure online connectivity, and how Australia's resilience and resolve to work together for that common goal is so important. And that's one of the key outcomes that's highlighted throughout the strategy document as well.
Knowledge is power that should be shared by us all to maintain Australia’s digital security. The time for keeping cyber strategies within organisations is over and collaboration is the way forward as we navigate risks that are only beginning to be realised.
The complementary actions outlined in the federal government’s strategy aligns with SAGE Group’s vision for a smarter future, better world. In a move towards further knowledge sharing, SAGE is pursuing partnership with the Joint Cyber Security Centres to collaborate with government and business on cyber security best practice.
Mal: That knowledge sharing, that collaboration piece, I think that needs further development. And that's one of the key highlights of this strategy. But certainly, there's been the ability for the last 12 or 18 months to establish partnerships with the Australian Cyber Security Centre through the Joint Cyber Security Centre initiative that's now located in every capital city across Australia. So that's a fantastic opportunity. And certainly, one that SAGE has recently pursued and is in the process of signing up for as well.
Watch the full Smart Cities interview with Adam and Mal.
Cyber security messaging connects with wider safety culture
For many years, messaging around the shared responsibility of physical safety has successfully infiltrated Australia’s workplaces. The collective understanding that safety should always be front of mind has been furthered by vital “safety first” messaging that has become embedded in our collective psyche.
The success of this industry focus sets the bar for cyber security education that aims to boost awareness of cyber security practices to the same level of recognition given to physical safety.
Mal: But one of my catch cries, and I take it from one of my previous leaders when I was in Defence, is cyber (security) is exactly like safety. Safety is everyone's responsibility. And for that reason, (cyber) security needs to become exactly the same, it needs to become everyone's responsibility.
Focus on collaboration caps off a well-considered plan
Adam: Was there anything that sort of stood out in terms of holes or gaps in the strategy?
Mal: Nothing really stood out as a gap to me. It has certainly come a long way from the first strategy four years ago. And the piece that was missing, and is highlighted now, is that collaboration piece between government, industry and the community as well. And that's certainly a big focus here.
Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 highlights the leaps we have taken in digital security since the release of the 2016 plan and offers a robust road map for the hard work still ahead. The traditional divides that once separated work and home, or indeed industry peers that may be considered competitors, must be reframed to acknowledge the interconnected nature of our preferred future and the combined effort required to secure a safe online world for all Australians.