A cyber solutions company that supports the Australian government, Macquarie, has welcomed the release of the Defence Strategic Review (DSR).

The company is convinced the DSR demonstrates the strongest indication yet of the importance of cybersecurity to government and defence capabilities.

The DSR outlines the country’s agenda of ambitious defence objectives. Australia is a key country situated in the Indo-Pacific, a location of intense geopolitical contention between the US and its allies against the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The DSR includes specific directions to defence with immediate effect, while establishing a methodical and comprehensive process for long-term and sustainable implementation.

The DSR states: “Defence must enhance its cyber domain capabilties to deliver the required responsiveness and breadth of capability to support ADF [Australian Defence Force] operations.

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“This must focus on: integrating the defence and management of defence’s C4 [command, control, communications and computers] networks and architectures; delivering a coherent and, where possible, centralised cyber domain capability development and management function; and building and sustaining a trained defence cyber workforce.”

Macquarie Government Managing Director Aidan Tudehope said: “the new regional strategic environment articulated in the DSR underscores the need to include cybersecurity in the defence reform agenda given its horizontal effect across all five military domains, notwithstanding to Australia’s critical infrastructure and systems of national significance.”

Cyber support for sovereign industrial base

Tudehope adds: “Cyber is a form of power projection which can be used in advance of kinetic attacks, or to cripple critical national infrastructure. It is also a tool of statecraft that is used for coercion, as the DSR has rightly called out.

“In this context it’s important to call out local industries that are directly supporting defence, including cyber security, ICT and space. When these sectors are strong Australia is less vulnerable to global supply chain challenges and less reliant on our allies and partners for enabling capabilities during conflict.

The DSR presents an opportunity for the government and defence to uplift Australia’s sovereign industrial capability, and that doing so will provide national resilience through robust cyber security, data networks, and space capabilities with capacity to scale.

GlobalData tells us that in response to the growing threat to cybersecurity; companies, nations, and militaries are increasingly adopting a collaborative approach. This involves sharing information with allies on threats and reporting attempted breaches to collectively improve their cybersecurity posture.

This is a promising direction to integrate the fledgling domain across all defence domains. It will go some way to securing the digital posture of the country amid a highly contested region of the world, where the PRC displays aggressive encroachment tactics against its neighbours.