The $230 million dollar strategy to boost Australia's cyber-security has been described as a good first step by a Charles Sturt University (CSU) expert.
Associate Professor Tanveer Zia from CSU's School of Computing and Mathematics was one of a handful of academics invited to attend the launch of the strategy in Sydney yesterday.
Professor Zia said, "This investment in 33 new cyber-security initiatives is on top of the $400 million to boost cyber and intelligence capabilities outlined in the Defence White paper.
"It is an acknowledgement by the government that a national cyber defence approach is imperative to deal with increasingly sophisticated and well organised attacks.
"During the launch the Prime Minister admitted for the first time that some government departments, most notably the Bureau of Meteorology, have been victim of cyber intrusions at the same commenting that Australia has the ability to launch its own cyber-attacks if provoked.
"Is this investment enough though? If you compare it to the $1 billion in direct costs to Australia each year then I would say that more would be expected from an advanced nation such as Australia," he said.
But Professor Zia is encouraged to see that the strategy promotes greater co-operation between public and private sectors in reporting and tackling cyber-crime.
"The real positive in this strategy is the partnering of government, private and academic institutions," said Professor Zia.
"The government plans to establish Joint Cyber Threat Centres and to make the Australian Cyber Security Centre more accessible and public, to make it easier to share sensitive information quickly between organisations and to promote greater collaboration.
"I hope this will encourage organisations, particularly those in the private sector, to report cyber security incursions and share hack data so that other agencies and institutions can respond and try to address those vulnerabilities in their own systems."
Professor Zia has also welcomed the focus on training more IT professionals.
"The strategy also acknowledges the nationwide shortage of cyber security skills and pledges to establish academic centres of cyber security excellence in universities to ensure qualifications in the information and communication technology field provide cyber security skills.
"Charles Sturt University's School of Computing and Mathematics is already in a strong position to provide cyber security skills by offering Master of Information Systems Security and specialisations such as digital forensics," said Professor Zia.
Media contact: Ms Emily Malone and Ms Fiona Halloran, (02) 6933 2207
Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews. Associate Professor Tanveer Zia is Associate Head of CSU's School of Computing and Mathematics in Wagga Wagga and has research interests in biometric security, cyber security, cloud computing security, information assurance, protection against identity theft, trust management, and forensic computing.