Australia Government Releases 2020 Cybersecurity Guidelines

Cyber threats loom large worldwide, with new concerns promising to wreak havoc on individuals, businesses, and government agencies alike.

Adam Rippon

Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy for 2020: What It Means For Your Business

Cyber threats loom large worldwide, with new concerns promising to wreak havoc on individuals, businesses, and government agencies alike. This problem is increasingly evident in Australia, where several major breaches have prompted major damage for vulnerable businesses.

To address these issues and keep the public safe, the Australian Government has officially released the Cyber Security Strategy 2020. Building on the 2016 version of the Cyber Security Strategy, this update promises to invest new resources into the nation’s digital landscape, to strengthen security on a broad scale.

The initiative was released following an extensive consultation conducted in late 2019 and early 2020. This effort involved meeting with 1,400 key players during roundtables, workshops, and other gatherings. The public also enjoyed the opportunity to submit responses to an official discussion paper.

Finally completed, the Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 holds the potential to provide valuable protection to those who need it most. This effort will have an especially significant impact on local businesses, many of which will benefit from added support and strengthened law enforcement.

Keep reading to learn more about the initiative’s specifics, as well as the many ways in which it will impact small and medium enterprises:

Australia Government Releases 2020 Cybersecurity Guidelines

A Financial Commitment to Cyber Security

The most notable aspect of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 is easily its sizable budget. The Australian Government intends to invest $1.67 billion in cybersecurity over the course of the next ten years. This represents a significant increase from the 2016 initiative, which involved just $230 million. The increased funding makes this the nation’s largest-ever financial commitment to digital security.

The added funds will be used, in part, to address the rise in malicious activity accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic. However, an expansion in funding was expected long before COVID took over.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison explains, “Cybersecurity is a fundamental part of everyday life so that Australians can reap the benefits of the internet and the digital economy safely, and with confidence.” For this reason, investment in security is more than worthwhile. Experts believe that this will ultimately lead to significant savings, as businesses and government agencies will be more capable of avoiding the financial devastation imparted by today’s most aggressive attacks.

How Will the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 Affect Australian Businesses?

The Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 outlines a grand vision involving a three-way partnership between the government, the community, and local businesses. Under this approach, individuals will make an effort to use responsible online behaviours, while businesses will protect their customers and clients through secure products and services. Meanwhile, the government will strengthen critical infrastructure from sophisticated threats. Together, community members, businesses, and government agencies can make the most of the nation’s finite resources to achieve broad protection against malicious parties.

To achieve these ambitious objectives, the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 includes several targeted provisions:

  • The release of the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package. This will ensure that Australia’s primary cybersecurity agency can promptly identify and respond to emerging threats that impact small businesses.
  • Expanding the cybersecurity incident exercise program, which is meant to deliver a coordinated government and business response to digital threats. The Australian Government will empower local agencies to recognise enterprises’ role in the playbook called the Cyber Incident Management Arrangements. As a result, all parts of society will possess clearly defined roles in the fight against digital attackers.
  • Enhancing the critical infrastructure security regulatory framework helps infrastructure owners understand how they can meet growing cybersecurity expectations. The government will assist businesses in the event of significant cyber-attacks that impact Australian systems.
  • Dedicating $8.3 million to the Cyber Security Connect and Protect Program, which provides assistance and information for SMEs with help from trusted sources.
  • Implementing a 24/7 helpdesk for SMEs in need of in-the-moment feedback. To this end, the government has invested in a $12.3 million expansion to provide for hotline assistance.
  • Encouraging large companies to provide small businesses with the opportunity to use bundles involving cybersecurity products and other offerings. This initiative has been enacted with the recognition that many businesses cannot afford dedicated cybersecurity staff.
  • Placing outreach officers within Joint Cyber Security Centres to provide additional support for SMEs.
  • Releasing a dedicated cyber training program on cyber.gov.au. This will help SME owners and staff members improve their cyber skills and maintain safe practices.

Although the Australian Cyber Security Strategy 2020 calls for greater action on behalf of businesses in all sectors, it provides a promising tradeoff: added financial support and enhanced law enforcement initiatives. The result will be a comprehensive strategy capable of combating significant cyber threats. This will help businesses avoid the devastation of cyberattacks while keeping consumers safe.

As the government and local businesses move forward with a new Cyber Security Strategy, it’s important to handle your existing setup and prepare for future protocol. Managed IT services could make all the difference. Look to Sydney Technology Solutions for guidance and support. Contact us today to learn more about our cybersecurity offerings.