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August 10, 2020updated 11 Aug 2020 3:56pm

Australia announces investment to boost cyber defences

The federal government of Australia has announced an investment of $1.67bn over ten years, including $1.35bn as a Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, to boost cyber resilience.

The federal government of Australia has announced an investment of $1.67bn over ten years, including $1.35bn as a Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, to boost cyber resilience.

This investment forms an important part of the government’s commitment to cyber security following the release of the 2020 CESAR package on 30 June.

According to Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds, the investment includes measures to bolster the resilience of critical infrastructure, businesses, and individuals against cyber threats in the country.

Reynolds said: “This package ensures we can identify more cyber threats, disrupt more cyber criminals offshore, build more partnerships with industry and government, and protect more Australians.

“These additional measures will enhance cyber protections for critical infrastructure facilities, strengthen our partnerships with industry, and boost the provision of cyber security advice and assistance to families, older Australians, and small businesses.”

Under the Cyber Security Strategy, $598.4m has been allocated for a range of new initiatives that will be delivered through the CESAR package.

These include more than $66m to aid major critical infrastructure providers to evaluate their networks for vulnerabilities, as well as more than $10m for an expanded National Exercise Program that will work with federal, state and territory government agencies and private sector organisations to test their readiness to cyber security threats.

More than $67m is allotted to transform the Joint Cyber Security Centres established in 2016 into collaboration platforms for developing new solutions to fight cyber threats.

Over $58m is earmarked to boost customer engagement channels and the successful ReportCyber incident reporting portal.

More than $12m is allocated to extending a 24/7 helpdesk to provide cyber security advice, and technical assistance for older Australians, families and small businesses, and more than $385m to boost intelligence capabilities and programme administration.

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