Australian Statistician David Kalisch and the Prime Minister’s cybersecurity adviser Alastair MacGibbon (pictured) went over lessons learned from the 2016 Census for the benefit of other public servants at a forum on Tuesday, hosted by the Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT Division).
Kalisch covered what went wrong from his perspective, regarding the public backlash against the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ decision to retain names and addresses for several years, and the failure of the eCensus web page to endure run-of-the-mill denial of service attacks.
He acknowledged the events reflected badly on the wider public sector, not just the agency, but also recognised some more praiseworthy efforts of ABS staff in response to the crisis, while MacGibbon emphasised that agencies need to start designing IT systems for the the future, move more quickly into the cloud, and urgently educate senior executives about cybersecurity.
Kalisch and MacGibbon both stuck around to answer questions from their public service colleagues in the audience. The discussion covered apparent inconsistencies in public attitudes towards privacy, the cybersecurity skills shortage, alternative ways of collecting national population data, and MacGibbon’s view that cloud computing is a key part of improving security.
Watch the full video below from the IPAA ACT Vimeo channel, produced by contentgroup.
Top image: RLDI.