The Australian government Monday released a paper outlining Australia’s plan to become “the most cyber secure nation by 2030.” The paper, “2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy Discussion Paper,” comes after two major scandals in 2022, known as the Optus and Mediabank hacks, which exposed personal consumer data.
The paper begins with a foreword from Clare O’Neil, who currently serves as both the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Cyber Security. O’Neil emphasized that Australia’s current “patchwork of policies, laws and frameworks…are not keeping up with the challenges presented by the digital age.” The paper lists three questions which O’Neil hopes will lead a plan to make Australia “the most cyber secure nation by 2030.”
The three questions include:
- What legislative or regulatory reforms should Government pursue to: enhance cyber resilience across the digital economy?
- Should the Government prohibit the payment of ransoms and extortion demands by cyber criminals by:
- (a) victims of cybercrime; and/or (b) insurers? If so, under what circumstances?
- How can government and industry work to improve cyber security best practice knowledge and behaviours, and support victims of cybercrime?
Together, the Department of Home Affairs and the Expert Advisory Board seeks to answer these three questions and design a strategy plan. They have already commenced roundtable discussions with stakeholders such as industry leaders, academics, state and territory governments, as well as the broader international community. The goal is to have a final strategy plan published by the end of 2023.
In an ABC interview, O’Neil also announced the new office within the Department for Home Affairs with a senior coordinator to organize cyber security at a national level. The coordinator will have two primary roles: ensuring government departments are using resources effectively in managing cyber and managing cyber incidents across Australia. The role is to be filled in the next month.