Government outlines plan to overhaul cyber security


What are the key problems?

* The Medibank and Optus hacks showed the vulnerability of personal information held by corporations to cyber attacks.

* Intelligence agencies are also concerned about a rise in state-sponsored cyber crime.

* ASIO says even the best cyber security can be undone if individual employees do not take security seriously.

How is the government responding?

* Appointed a cyber security portfolio, held by Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil.

* In the process of appointing a Co-ordinator for Cyber Security in the coming month to lead a National Office for Cyber Security within the home affairs department.

* A national strategy will aim to make Australia the most cyber-secure nation by 2030.

* The government wants a mechanism to ensure major cyber incidents can be responded to quickly.

* It is looking at broadening the legal scope for the top cyber agency, the Australian Signals Directorate, to step in when businesses are under significant attack.

* The government is also considering making it illegal to pay ransoms to hackers, to ensure Australia does not become a soft target for ransomware attacks.

* Eight economic sectors now have minimum cyber security standards.

* Organisations are reminded of the “essential eight” mitigation strategies: application control, patch applications, configure Microsoft Office macro settings, user application hardening, restrict administrative privileges, patch operating systems, multi-factor authentication and regular backups.


Paul Osborne
(Australian Associated Press)


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