Cyber boss Alastair MacGibbon to return to private sector

By David Donaldson

Monday May 6, 2019

Alastair MacGibbon, head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre at the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), is resigning to return to the private sector.

MacGibbon, who also holds the titles of Home Affairs deputy secretary and national cyber security adviser, will stay a little over a week past the federal election, finishing on May 28, announced ASD boss Mike Burgess on Saturday.

“Alastair believes the end of the electoral cycle is an appropriate time for renewal,” said Burgess.

Lieutenant General John Frewen, principal deputy director general at ASD, will lead the cyber security centre on top of his regular responsibilities until the role is permanently filled.

Burgess thanked MacGibbon for his work in cyber security across government.

“Alastair leaves a considerable legacy,” he said.

“During his time both as the National Cyber Security Adviser and as the Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Alastair has been a fierce advocate for the importance of cyber security for the community, businesses and governments. He is indeed the face of cyber security in Australia and, through his leadership, helped raise the nation’s cyber security standards.

“Alastair has been with ASD since January 2018, after Prime Minister Turnbull made the centre a part of ASD and Alastair its head. I’d like to thank Alastair for his work in standing up the new centre, including the transition of other parts of government into ASD. I’d also like to recognise and thank Alastair for his tireless work in tackling the challenge of helping those we serve to better understand how to identify and manage the nation’s cyber security risks more effectively.

“His work in response to the recent compromise of the Australian parliament’s computer network is a good example of how Alastair and his team have made an important, practical difference to cyber security in Australia.”

He was also founding director Australian High Tech Crime Centre in the early 2000s, and the inaugural eSafety commissioner for a year from April 2015.

He has previously worked at a range of digital companies, including Dimension Data and eBay.

MacGibbon’s move to the private sector would mean “he is not lost” to the cause of cyber security, as business does most of the heavy lifting in that area already, said Burgess.

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