Australia has announced a “game-changing” plan to boost the country’s digital capabilities in response to increased cyberattacks.
Revealed by Home Affairs and Cyber Security Minister Clare Ellen O’Neil, the draft focused on steps to improve Australia’s critical infrastructure resilience, networking solutions, and associated coordination methods to protect civilians and small businesses nationwide.
‘A Number of Initiatives’
Under the effort, O’Neil said the government will spend 587 million Australian dollars ($385 million) over four years on top of a previous investment made by the last administration through 2030, making Canberra’s overall funds for this project approximately 2.3 billion Australian dollars ($1.5 billion).
The first two years will enhance the interoperability between public and private sectors and major economic entities over cybercrime solutions and other related developments.
This phase will include formulating new policies for communication providers that will isolate hacking impacts.
The remaining years will produce new models “that will encourage the rest of the economy to work” and further broaden public knowledge of threats in the country’s digital domain.
“We have a cyber threat in front of us, but we also have a cyber opportunity,” O’Neil stated. “And that’s why sovereign capabilities is a really core part of the work that we’ve done here.
“We want to build a country where we’ve got the cyber skills we need, we’ve got the small businesses that are building products that they are going to be able to sell all over the world. And we have a number of initiatives that will support those efforts.”
Boosting Cyber Policing
Around $75 million Australian dollars ($49 million) of the investment was earmarked to support Canberra’s cyber police arm and related programs.
“One of the important elements that we’re undertaking to make sure that we’re supporting small business and citizens is providing additional funding to the [Australian Federal Police] to boost the Hack the Hackers program,” O’Neil said.
“This investment… will make sure that the police who are responsible for fighting cybercrime are able to build those capabilities and get the skills that they are going to need to help us protect the community.”