Australian government considers approach to cybersecurity

You talk to other countries and we have a chance here to lead the world.

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The Australian government considers itself to be “world-leading” when it comes to cybersecurity, with Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor telling ZDNet that Australia has the opportunity to extend its global lead to create a thriving local industry.

“You talk to other countries and we have a chance here to lead the world, it’s very exciting not just so we can protect ourselves but so we can grow an industry,” he said on Wednesday.

“I don’t think anyone’s where they wanted to be, we’re all still facing risks, but I think we’re in a great position I think now to deal with these risks at a speed and with a level of collaboration that very few other countries have.”

To Taylor, it’s important to keep abreast of the threat landscape as it changes, noting also that it helps the country has a leader in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that understands technology.

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“I think one of the reasons why we are arguably leading the world is that we have a prime minister who actually understands that, which is I think pretty much unique,” he told ZDNet. “For me personally that is a huge help because it means I can have a detailed discussion with him about Intel chips, and he understands.”

The newly minted cyber minister drew on his time as the minister overseeing digital transformation to discuss the current approach to cybersecurity the government has, commenting that it’s important to ensure departments and agencies aren’t further creating silos for dealing with threats.

“There is a risk  I’m acutely conscious of that, and I’m acutely conscious of that because I hear people say this to me all the time,” Taylor said. “We can’t let that happen.

“The key in cyber, like most areas, is speed and that means you’ve got to share information in a collaborative way.”

While the government has determined a need to share and created a handful of avenues to do so, it doesn’t exactly have a way to measure such information sharing.

“It’s very easy to see afterwards,” Taylor said in response to a question asking how to ensure cross-department collaboration. “This is something I’m adamant about and we do need to share. It doesn’t mean you have to share sources, but you have to share the information people have to act on.”

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