The release of the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy has been a disappointing continuation of the pattern of Australia steadily lagging behind the rest of the world in response to the enormous risks posed by cyber attacks.
There are a number of identifiable improvements proposed such as providing small business with cyber security assessments and advice and community groups with an undisclosed amount of grant money to improve their cyber security. These are welcomed.
The main concerns with this strategy, like repeated communications from Home Affairs on cyber security in the past years, is it is riddled with adjectives, buzzwords and lofty intentions and sadly lacking on specific actions.
The world is not made measurably safer by plans to work over three “Horizons” to “strengthen our foundations” then “scale cyber maturity across the whole economy” and “advance the global frontier of cyber security.”
Dedicated funds, specific initiatives, measurable goals and some clear accountability in Home Affairs and ASD is what is needed, and that’s what’s missing.
Greens Senator and Digital Rights Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
“While the existence of the strategy is positive and fills a serious gap, the failure to learn from global best practice and respond with the urgency required is an expected disappointment.
“We have seen Europe already leading the charge on effective cyber strategy, and instead of adopting policy that we have real time evidence is working- we’re publishing a list of hopes and plans.
“It’s hard to overstate how urgent the threat is to the community in Australia, and it seems the Government still hasn’t fully appreciated this.
“They are boosting funding and support to small business which is very much needed, but that’s a tiny bit of the puzzle.
“Continuing with weak proposals and industry-written voluntary codes won’t make communities safer, won’t fight online hate and won’t bring these global corporations into line.
“It’s time for the Government to take a proactive role in protecting individuals and communities from cynical profit driven platforms and corporations, and make laws accordingly,” Senator Shoebridge said.