Australia must do more in cyber-security

Monday 24 Feb 2014

Australia's change of government has slowed down initiatives to protect businesses and institutions defend against online attacks, according to a Charles Sturt University (CSU) expert.

Dr Tanveer ZiaDr Tanveer Zia, Associate Head of School at CSU's School of Computing and Mathematics, has called for the development of an Australian framework to help institutions, government and industry manage cyber-security.

Dr Zia said a Cyber-security Framework released by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), showed how government could work with the community to manage risks. 

Dr Zia said the framework was developed in consultation with American industry and leading academic institutions, providing a much needed pathway in cyber-security.

"It's a voluntary framework which complements organisations' existing cyber-security risk management processes," he said.

"At national level, government agencies such as Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Defence Force, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Attorney-General's Department and Australian Federal Police should take a leading role in promoting and initiating the adaption of this model or development of similar ventures."

The Gillard Government launched the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) as part of its Strategy for Australia's National Security in early 2013 and committed $1.46 billion until 2020 to bolster the cyber-security, but Dr Zia fears a change in government has slowed those initiatives.

"The Australian Government needs to support cyber-security measures because there has been an increase in sophisticated and targeted attacks on networks in both government and businesses," he said.

"Close to 10,000 incidents related to cyber-security were reported to Australia's national computer emergency response team (CERT) in 2012, the latest data available so far. 

"Academic institutions, industry and government organisations should work together to adapt the US Cyber-security Framework to meet local requirements.

"There's also a need to overhaul relevant Australian standards and legislations to address ever growing cyber threats."

Dr Tanveer Zia's research interests include cyber-security, cloud computing, information assurance and protection against identity theft. Read more about his research on CSU News here.


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