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NSW commits $180 million to expand cybersecurity

The Government of New South Wales recently announced a three-year investment of $180 million that aims to broaden the scope of Cyber Security NSW to help protect the state against cyber-crime.

The task force of experts will enhance NSW’s world-class cybersecurity infrastructure. The extra funding will allow the government to quadruple the size of its central cybersecurity team.

Cyber Security NSW will strengthen cyber capability in government agencies while working with emergency management, law enforcement, the private sector and other industries.

The Minister for Customer Service stated that the investment will form an army of experts. Cyber Security NSW will provide a cross-government coordinated response, including advance threat intelligence sharing, cybersecurity training and capability development, he said.

The investment into Cyber Security NSW is the first instalment of the $240 million cybersecurity funding announced in June 2020. Cybersecurity is critical in ensuring the NSW Government provides secure, trusted and resilient services. As the NSW Government continues its digital transformation – maintaining and enhancing our cybersecurity capabilities is paramount.

Cyber Security NSW provides an integrated approach to preventing and responding to cybersecurity threats across NSW; safeguarding our information, assets, services and citizens. Cyber Security NSW aims to build stronger cyber resilience across the whole of government to support our economic growth, prosperity and efficiency.

Cyber Security NSW continues to focus on enhancing whole-of-government cybersecurity capabilities and standards, boosting cyber incident response coordination, and overseeing the development of strategic cyber policy positions. It collaborates with NSW agencies, emergency management, law enforcement, the private sector and other jurisdictions to enhance whole-of-government cyber capability.

Developing robust cybersecurity infrastructure

OpenGov Asia recently reported that a new defence industry support program will recruit small businesses to fight against cyber threats, receiving funding to develop ambitious, game-changing capabilities for the Australian Defence Force.

The Defence Industry Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement (ICERA) will offer Australian small businesses opportunities to investigate innovative and visionary projects that contribute to improving the defence industry’s ability to support Australian Defence Force priorities. Up to $300,000 per proposal will be provided for projects for up to 18 months. The Minister for Defence Industry stated that ICERA is funded through Defence’s Next Generation Technologies Fund, in a new scheme that will provide $36 million over six years.

Australia’s strategic context is changing significantly and the nation’s defence strategy is responding to these changes. This change is something which has been highlighted in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update that was released recently.

The small business sector has an important role in contributing to Defence’s science and technology research priorities that support ADF capability needs. The first focus of the ICERA initiative will target cyber defence and cybersecurity, with later rounds to focus on a range of other priority areas, including integrated intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, medical countermeasures, space and trusted autonomous systems.

Successful projects may be considered for further funding or opportunities through other avenues and mechanisms.

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