Cyber attacks less likely for DHS

Thursday, 16 March, 2017

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The Department of Human Services (DHS) has been labelled ‘cyber resilient’ after its investment in cybersecurity.

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) cybersecurity follow-up audit has found that the DHS meets all key indicators of strength in cybersecurity.

It is also compliant with all four of the Australian Signals Directorate’s top mandatory strategies.

Recent investments, such as the establishment of a state-of-the-art cybersecurity operations centre and the implementation of new cybersecurity governance arrangements, have substantially lifted the department’s cyber defence capabilities.

Auditors also noted the DHS’s ability to maintain a diverse ICT environment, with high levels of system availability, without compromising cybersecurity.

This is a significant achievement given the large number of ageing legacy systems being maintained to support Centrelink, Medicare, Child Support and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge said the huge increase in online services, such as myGov, has made life easier for welfare recipients but also increased the importance of strong cybersecurity measures.

“Almost all Australians access Centrelink, Medicare and child support at some point in their lives, so it’s imperative this data is kept safe from attack,” said Tudge.

“The rapidly evolving threat of cyber attacks is a key challenge of the digital age; however, we are setting a strong example on cybersecurity.

“The ANAO’s recommendations support our ongoing commitment to prioritise cybersecurity and work is already underway to further improve our capability.”

Image credit: ©Duncanandison/Dollar Photo Club

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