In the wake of Chinese attacks into Bureau of Meteorology’s systems in 2015, the Turnbull government made computer security a priority, saying hacking cost the national economy $1 billion annually.
The response included a $230 million national cybersecurity strategy, released last April with collaboration between public and private sectors one of the main principles. And Dan Tehan became the minister assisting the prime minister on cybersecurity.
Ten months later, Tehan launched the first “joint cybersecurity centre” in Brisbane today, bringing law enforcement, public service and private sector resources under one roof.
He said the opening is the first step in a $47 million program that trials intelligence sharing between the three sectors.
“Securing Australia’s cyberspace is not something the Commonwealth can do alone. This collaborative approach will provide up-to-date information about the nature of cyber threats, help partners better understand cyber risks, and allow them to collaborate on shared challenges,” said Tehan in a joint statement with attorney-general George Brandis.
Similar centres are planned for Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, although no details or timelines were disclosed.
The Brisbane facility will be led by CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) Australia, which sits within the attorney-general’s department to be “the point of contact in government for cyber security issues affecting major Australian businesses”.
“Centre representatives will conduct a broad range of joint activities, including data analytics, targeted training, workshops and threat mapping. Work is also underway on an information sharing portal that will broaden the reach of the centres,” the ministers stated.
In May, the department of prime minister’s first assistant secretary of cyber policy and intelligence Lynwen Connick revealed at the CeBIT conference in Sydney that the information sharing centres would emulate the United Kingdom model.
“Our plan is for it to be quite similar to what the UK has done with their information sharing portal, in that Australian organisations can join up [and] subscribe to particular communities of interest and get information about threats,” Connick said at the time, as reported by iTnews.