NSW government creates cyber taskforce

By Shannon Jenkins

June 23, 2020


The New South Wales government has created a task force to help local businesses build their cyber resilience through the adoption of industry standards.

Customer service minister Victor Dominello on Monday said the group would consist of industry experts from a range of sectors, including defence, energy, health, and financial services.

The task force would focus on improving cyber security across Australian businesses, “harmonising” baseline standards, and providing clarity for sector-specific additional standards and guidance.

It would also aim to enhance competitiveness standards by sector for both supplier and consumers, provide greater interoperability, and help local cyber security companies “seize opportunities and go global”.

Last week, the state government announced it would invest $240 million in the cyber industry. Dominello argued the creation of the task force was the second “critical step” in bolstering the government’s cyber security defences.

“We know that the current plethora of different security standards make it difficult for government and industry to know what they’re buying when it comes to cyber security,” he said.

“By bringing together industry to identify relevant standards and provide other practical guidance, we aim to make government more secure, whilst providing direction for industry to build their cyber resilience.”

READ MORE: NSW invests $1.6b in digital infrastructure fund

The formation of the taskforce was the result of a collaboration between the state government, AustCyber, and Standards Australia.

AustCyber CEO Michelle Price said the group would help NSW businesses take the necessary steps to protect themselves against cyber attacks, following the federal government’s recent announcement that Australian organisations have been the target of ongoing malicious cyber attacks.

“There is a risk underlying the speed of digital transformation in Australia, and the new standards will be critical in helping deliver a consistent, industry-focused framework for NSW. The newly established task force will help NSW businesses understand what they need to do to tackle the complex challenge of protecting against cyber attacks,” she said.

“This work will also provide a pilot for the rest of the country to enable rapid adoption of consistent, internationally harmonised cyber security standards and guidance. Cyber security is one of Australia’s most promising growth sectors and importantly protects our digital infrastructure and data.”

Standards Australia was looking forward to “providing information around technical guidance and promoting industry backed security practices through the use of standards”, according to the organisation’s CEO, Adrian O’Connell.

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