NSW government to re-install cyber security chief, upgrade office to new version


Tony Chapman

The New South Wales government has made Tony Chapman its permanent information security chief and given his office a prominent place within the new Department of Customer Service.

Chapman has been given the new title of chief cyber security officer and put in charge of a new office named Cyber Security NSW, the government announced today.

The new Department of Customer Service will be led by secretary Glenn King and is being built from the present Department of Finance, Services and Innovation as part of a major machinery-of-government overhaul announced after this year’s state election. It is one of eight new public service clusters that will officially be in place from July 1.

Chief information and digital officer Greg Wells said Cyber Security NSW would “cement the leadership and coordination role needed to enhance cyber security and decision-making” at a whole-of-government level.

Wells hopes the office can increase public confidence in the state government’s ability to protect sensitive information — always a difficult task given security is most noticeable when it fails — and thereby increase the “customer satisfaction” levels that have become a key metric for public services in NSW.

Chapman began acting as the government’s chief information security officer after Maria Milosavljevic vacated the role in January, becoming chief data officer at the federal Department of Human Services.

A former high-school teacher from Queensland who also has a bachelor’s degree in justice and criminology, Chapman seems to have come into cyber security as a manager more than a technologist. Following roles in executive support, stakeholder management and government relations at the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (and its predecessor the Australian Crime Commission), he was appointed director of cyber security engagement and prevention at DFSI last January.

Greg Wells

Greg Wells confirmed he would continue performing all the same functions as Milosavljevic did, and more. “The role will have a renewed focus on digital transformation and improving customer service outcomes,” he said.

“A key component of the role will be driving a culture of risk management and awareness to support greater resilience to cyber security threats. Tony and his team will build on the digital transformation work occurring across the NSW Government, ensuring our digital spaces are safeguarded against cyber threats.

“Cyber Security NSW will continue its critical work enhancing whole-of-government cyber security capabilities and standards on behalf of NSW. It will also work more closely with the Information and Privacy Commission on security, privacy and the availability of systems and services during the State’s digital transformation.”

Chapman said he would also keep trying to “strengthen ties across other NSW Government departments, other states and territories, and the federal government” so they can compare notes on best-practice. He is already a member of the National Cyber Security Committee, the States and Territories Cyber Security Roundtable, and the NSW Cyber Security Advisory Council.

“The Office will continue to focus on enhancing whole-of-government cyber security capabilities and standards, boosting cyber incident response coordination, and overseeing the development of strategic cyber policy positions through a revitalised Cyber Security Senior Officers’ Group,” the new security chief says on LinkedIn.

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