NSW to establish cyber hub under new strategy

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday May 20, 2021

(Image:Adobe/Chris Titze Imaging)

New South Wales government agencies have been instructed to lead by example in best practice and cyber resilience under the state’s new sector-wide cyber security strategy.

The strategy, launched on Thursday, noted that agencies have an opportunity to adopt and exceed best practice in cyber security.

“We need to be accountable in adhering to and exceeding the mandatory cyber security requirements we set within NSW government through the NSW Cyber Security Policy,” it said.

“To achieve this, we will establish greater accountability amongst our agencies to adhere to these requirements.”

The document builds on and combines the existing cyber security and cyber industry development strategies.

Bringing industry development and government resiliency together will ensure the cyber security industry thrives in the state, according to digital and customer service minister Victor Dominello.

“To realise our collective vision of becoming the cyber capital of the southern hemisphere, we need government and industry working together — that’s what this strategy seeks to achieve,” he said in a statement.

READ MORE: Cyber Security NSW needs greater oversight role, parliamentary committee finds

The strategy outlines four key commitments: increasing NSW government cyber resiliency; helping NSW cyber security businesses grow; enhancing the cyber security workforce and its skills; and supporting cyber security research and innovation.

Stuart Ayres, minister for jobs, investment, tourism and Western Sydney, said the government would partner with the cyber sector to grow and leverage the strengths of industry and academia, driving international competitiveness.

“NSW already has an incredible depth of talent however we need to continue to foster, cultivate and grow this pipeline to ensure our industry thrives,” he said.

“The export opportunities for cyber security industry is enormous. From Bondi to Broken Hill, cyber security businesses can export to any location around the world from any city or town in NSW.”

As part of the strategy, Investment NSW will establish a NSW Cyber Hub to help businesses grow by delivering a range of industry support initiatives in partnership with other agencies and industry.

The hub will absorb the functions previously delivered by the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node, and will deliver a number of programs and initiatives.

READ MORE: NSW public sector’s cyber security resilience needs ‘urgent attention’, audit office finds

Tenable ANZ country manager Scott McKinnel has commended the state government’s efforts to develop and advance the workforce through the strategy, and has encouraged the breaking down of silos.

“Cyber threats cannot be adequately addressed until a larger, more diverse and inclusive workforce is in place,” he told The Mandarin.

“The new strategy with a focus on collaboration encourages the voluntary sharing of relevant, actionable threat information between agencies, industry and academia to reduce risk, limits duplicative efforts and improves the overall security of Australians.”

Cyber defences should also allow for cross-border data flows to ‘enable security and alignment with international, consensus-driven standards’, McKinnel noted.

“This is hopefully an opportunity to focus on critical risks and maintain harmonised standards for cybersecurity,” he said.

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