Canberra, 22 November 2023 – The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) welcomes the Australian Government’s new Cyber Security Strategy as a major step forward in making us a world leader in cyber security by 2030.
TCA CEO Kate Pounder said the Government has worked closely with the tech sector on the development of the strategy and has taken a comprehensive approach that recognises the need to uplift our cyber capabilities across all parts of our economy and society.
“Improving cyber security is vital to Australia’s economy, our national security and to the lives of Australian citizens,” Ms Pounder said.
“The new Cyber Security Strategy is a comprehensive response to the increasing threat of cyber-attacks and data breaches that will help bring Australia up to world’s best practice.”
“The strategy recognises there is no silver bullet and there is no single shield that will protect us from cyber criminals – it will take a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach, underpinned by strong collaboration between the government, industry and the community.”
“We are pleased to see a strong focus on building Australia’s cyber security skills and industry capabilities, utilising technology solutions, supporting consumers and small businesses and ensuring our legal frameworks are fit for the digital age.”
“We are also pleased to see a strong focus on actions to improve the response to cyber-attacks when they occur. This includes plans to reduce the red tape for businesses to report threats and to work with authorities to respond to them, and a new mechanism to conduct no-fault, lessons-learned reviews of significant cyber incidents.”
“The Tech Council has advocated for action in these key areas since we formed a cyber security ‘tiger team’ from across our membership last year, following a series of significant cyber-attacks and data breaches that affected millions of Australians.”
“We congratulate Minister Clare O’Neil for her vision and work on the strategy and for her strong engagement with industry on its development.”
“We back the Minister’s ambition for Australia to be a world leader in cyber security by 2030 and we support the effort being taken to get there.”
A key part of the strategy will involve the development of new laws and voluntary codes to support technology that is “secure-by-design.” This is a particular area of interest for the Tech Council where we are committed to work closely with the Government on policy design and implementation.
“The Australian tech sector has a strong commitment to secure product development and recognises the importance of this for consumers and for trust in the sector.”
“Many of our tech companies are already at the leading-edge of security and are engaging with international standards and frameworks on security-by-design in countries like the US and the UK.”
“Security-by-design is an important and highly technical policy area that will require deep consultation and engagement with the tech sector.”
“We look forward to working with the Government to ensure our settings are practical, coherent with emerging international standards and continue to enable growth of Australia’s tech start-ups and scale-ups.”
The focus on cyber security skills and workforce is also an important part of the strategy. Our research shows that Australia has a major skills gap in cyber security and in other technical roles that are critical to cyber security (such as software engineering). Nearly half of the 1.2 million people we’ll need in tech jobs by 2030 will be in technical professions.
We therefore support the focus on cyber skills uplift outlined in the strategy, including the important role that will be played by the domestic education system, the Government’s migration reform agenda, workforce diversity initiatives and workforce planning through Jobs and Skills Australia. We also look forward to engaging on the detail of the new professional accreditation model for cyber security roles to ensure it supports high standards while enabling strong growth in the workforce pipeline.
Importantly, the Cyber Security Strategy is part of a broader suite of initiatives being progressed across Government that will help strengthen our approach on cyber security and protect the personal information of Australian citizens. We continue to encourage a coordinated whole-of-government approach on cyber security, including through the delivery of digital identity reform, privacy reform, funding programs like the National Reconstruction Fund and skilling and reskilling initiatives.