The Government of Australia is developing a new guide that will help small businesses understand how to enhance their security practices.

Named Working Securely with Defence, the so-called ‘go-to’ guide is being created in partnership with the country’s defence industry.

The guide is aimed at enabling the industry by improving their cybersecurity measures ‘win defence work’.

Currently, nearly 40% of businesses that apply for defence work fail to meet the required standards.

Australia Defence Minister Melissa Price said: “The development of this guide has been a genuine team effort, drawing on deep expertise and connections across government, defence, Australian defence industry and industry associations.

“It has been developed by industry for industry and will help businesses understand what they need to do to improve their security practices.

“The guide also provides direction and support to current and prospective defence industry and supply chain providers on how to understand their security obligations and improve their security practices when delivering defence capability.”

According to the Australian Department of Defence, the guide was jointly developed by Defence, AiGroup, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), as well as the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) for one-year.

It also supports the government’s A$270bn investment in defence capability over the next ten years.

For the past ten years, defence has helped more than 600 firms improve security through the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP), which supports Australian companies to meet their security obligations when involved in Defence projects and contracts.

Currently, defence has over 230 companies in the DISP programme.

Last August, Australia launched a programme to encourage ‘innovative’ projects that have the potential to enhance the capabilities of the Australian Defence Force.