Coalition makes $156m cybersecurity pledge

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 30 April, 2019

Coalition makes $156m cybersecurity pledge

The Morrison government has pledged to invest $156 million in cybersecurity if it wins the upcoming federal election.

The election promise includes an additional investment of $80 million towards hiring an additional 230 professionals within Australia’s key cybersecurity agencies to combat national cybersecurity threats.

As part of this spending, $66 million would be put towards setting up additional capability within the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), including a capacity to counter foreign criminals, as well as the creation of an online cybersecurity training program for businesses, families and older Australians.

In addition, $50 million will be allocated towards a Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy, which will include initiatives aimed at increasing the presence of women in the cybersecurity field and improving the development of cyber skills in recent graduates.

This includes the previously announced initiative to provide scholarships for university and TAFE studies associated with cybersecurity — 50% of which will be reserved for women.

Reports suggest that National Cyber Security Adviser Alastair MacGibbon will work with the Department of Defence and the Department of Home Affairs to lead the country-wide skills development program.

The final $26 million will be spent on developing a support framework for small and medium-sized businesses in dealing with the cybersecurity threats they face.

In line with its planned support for SMEs, the government has pledged to establish a dedicated 24/7 help desk within the ACSC for SMEs — as well as families and older Australians — to report cybersecurity incidents and receive tailored advice on prevention and response.

Image courtesy Commonwealth of Australia.

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