Australia's Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan - Awakening our Nation to a Modern Day Threat

On 21 April 2016, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull officially launched the Federal government’s national cybersecurity strategy. This initiative provides the pivotal step needed for the greater protection of the nation from cybersecurity attacks that have demonstrated the potential to endanger national security. This strategy will be instrumental in providing explicit guidance to a wide range of businesses and individuals in operating safely in cyberspace. 

©iStock.com/Maksim Kabakou 

©iStock.com/Maksim Kabakou 

Today, all organisations and individuals are facing increasing digital threats coming from state-sponsored attacks, cyber-criminal organisations and internet activists. A status quo approach to cyber defence will not be sufficient. The action plans outlined in the strategy paper emphasise the importance of cybersecurity in providing confidence to a safe operating environment in cyberspace, which will help the nation both from a security and an economic point of view.

CSC has been an active partner with the Federal and State governments for many years. CSC has helped protect government networks and assessed various cybersecurity processes in Defence, Homeland Security and Healthcare. With the recent acquisition of UXC, including the UXC Saltbush team of more than 120 cybersecurity professionals, CSC has dramatically increased its cybersecurity capability in the public sector. Coupling this capability with such a long historical partnership, CSC is poised to assist the government and support the realisation of its cyber strategy.

With the six key action plans outlined in the strategy document CSC can, in the short-term, support the strategy in the following areas:

National Cyber Partnership

Before the release of the strategy document, CSC was already in discussions on a public-private partnership with certain government agencies. Such a partnership is a win-win for both parties as it allows the government to understand the threats faced by the private sector, and at the same time CSC can coordinate services for its clients to help the government secure the cyberspace border.

Strong Cyber Defences

CSC has one of the largest Security Operation Centre (SOC) networks in the world, monitoring over 250 Fortune 500 corporate clients globally. This provides CSC with unparalleled insight into current global threats. By sharing such threat information with CERT, CSC helps support the government in pre-empting potential global cyberattacks that may be detrimental to national security or business confidence. With more than 250 cybersecurity professionals in Australia that are involved in consulting, security monitoring and threat intelligence operations, CSC is poised to play a key role in defending the nation’s cyberspace border.

Raise the Bar

The threat landscape has changed dramatically in the last five years. The threat actors no longer use conventional means of attacks to compromise an organisation. Advance Persistent Threats (APT) are now one of the leading global cybersecurity issues, and CSC will be the pioneer organisation in Australia to conduct APT-readiness assessment for both the government agencies and businesses. We have developed a unique set of services that are specifically targeted in not only helping organisations identify how they are susceptible to APT attacks, but also training them in detecting such advance attacks.

It is important to identify threat actors and threat intent, but most cybersecurity attacks will not be made possible if the organisation's controls are properly implemented and enforced. CSC’s consulting teams can help the industry in improving Information Technology and Operational Technology governance to make each organisation's environment more robust against cybersecurity attacks.

Global Responsibility and Influence

As a responsible global organisation, CSC has a pivotal influence in keeping cyberspace safe. With a large presence of monitoring capabilities all over the world, CSC will work closely with the government in mitigating any cybersecurity attacks that come from networks managed by CSC. As a proactive cybersecurity organisation keenly aware of global threat events, CSC can assist the government in refining the execution of the strategy to address the upcoming threat landscape.

Growth and Innovation

As one of the largest IT Outsourcing (ITO) organisations in the world, CSC partners with many vendors to provide innovative services for businesses in Australia. CSC works with key partners in offering services that help discover attacks faster and respond to them more effectively. CSC will also work closely with research institutes in sharing threat information to help the industry grow and get better in cybersecurity defence.

A Cyber Smart Nation

CSC strongly believes that the experts of tomorrow must be mentored today, and the organisation has a robust Young Professionals Programme. CSC is committed to supporting the government in mentoring the next-generation of cybersecurity experts, and will work closely with the various academic institutions to provide real-world exposure for the graduates.

CSC looks forward to supporting the government in its cyber strategy with these six initiatives that are strongly aligned with the Action Plans.

Further Reading

Authors

Paul Gibbs Director GM Cybersecurity ANZ, CSC

Tim Meng Ching Principal Consultant Cyber Security ANZ, CSC

David Jarvis Cybersecurity National Practice Lead, UXC Saltbush