NSW government to ‘quadruple’ size of cyber security workforce

By Shannon Jenkins

Wednesday August 26, 2020

Jurisdictions complaining about the digital influence of countries such as Russia and China themselves play in the digital shadows. Australia included.
Jurisdictions complaining about the digital influence of countries such as Russia and China themselves play in the digital shadows. Australia included. (Photobank/Adobe)

The New South Wales government will invest $60 million into its central cyber security team as part of the state’s broader plan to boost its cyber security capability.

Customer service minister Victor Dominello on Wednesday said the funds would be used over three years to create an “army” of experts.

“The $60 million is not only a four-fold increase in spending on cyber security but allows Cyber Security NSW to quadruple the size of its team in the battle against cyber-crime,” he said.

“Cyber Security NSW will train the next generation of cyber security experts and ensure there is a cross-government coordinated response, including advance threat intelligence sharing, cyber security training and capability development. This will further ensure NSW has world-class cyber security infrastructure to protect the government services of the future.”

He said the money would broaden the scope of the agency to include small agencies and councils. Cyber Security NSW currently collaborates with emergency management, law enforcement, the private sector and other jurisdictions.


Read more: NSW government creates cyber taskforce


It was important for the government to increase capability across the state, according to acting chief cyber security officer executive director Charlotte Wood.

“Councils provide us all with important online services and we must ensure the capability of councils is increasing at the same time as NSW government’s capability is increasing,” she said.

In June the state government announced it would provide $240 million to boost its cyber security capability as part of a $1.6 billion investment into a digital infrastructure fund.

It also established a cyber taskforce, and set up a Cyber Security Vulnerability Management Centre in Bathurst to be operated by Cyber Security NSW.

The Bathurst-based centre began operating last month. Dominello said the centre would give the government an increased awareness of vulnerabilities in internet-facing services and assets and would be critical to identifying and addressing known vulnerabilities.

Late last year an audit found the NSW public sector’s cybersecurity resilience was in need of “urgent attention”, with the auditor-general having directed Cyber Security NSW to work with agencies to improve their cybersecurity resilience immediately.

The state is currently seeking industry feedback on its new cyber security strategy.


Read more: NSW agencies fall short on cybersecurity, audit finds


 

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