The Australian government announced on Monday that it’s setting up a new national office for cybersecurity to help with combating hackers and overseeing government investment in the field within the next month.
This comes in response to the recent spikes in cybercrime that have targeted at least eight major Australian businesses, including health insurance providers and telecommunication companies. Current cybersecurity systems just aren’t complex enough to keep up with the rapidly advanced technology used by threat actors.
“This is really fast-moving. It’s a rapidly evolving threat, and for too many years Australia has been off the pace,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said during a gathering of experts and industry leaders.
They’re currently recruiting candidates for the role and may have them chosen within the next month. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil told a radio host at ABC the two main qualities they’re looking for in a candidate.
“The first will be to try to provide some strategy and structure and spine to the work being done across government,” O’Neil said. “So, it will mean things like making sure that the billions of dollars that we are investing in cyber security each year are being spent in a way that’s strategic and appropriate, and that we’ve got different parts of government communicating with each other and working together on helping lift cyber security protections across the country.
“The other really important part of this person’s job will be to help manage cyber incidents in a proper, seamless, strategic way across the Australian government.”
O’Neil also said that the current rules don’t ensure smooth cooperation during cyber incidents. Though there are security measures in place from both the government and the private sector, he believes the previous government’s rules weren’t fit to handle real threats and are in desperate need of reform.