February 28, 2024

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NSW working to step up cybersecurity efforts

Recently, the Auditor-General of New South Wales stated in a report that the Office of Local Government should develop a cybersecurity policy by 30 June 2021 to ensure a consistent response to cybersecurity risks across councils.

The audit looked at the state’s 138 councils and 13 joint organisations, which share revenue of $15.3 billion, assets of $166 billion and liabilities of $7.3 billion.

It identified 1,947 issues, of which 41 per cent related to IT. Of those, 68 per cent of issues related to access management.

A total of 575 issues relating to IT were identified, compared to 448 in the previous reporting period.

They related to a range of concerns including IT policies, lack of risk management, shared user accounts, weak passwords and poor system implementation.

The report says cybersecurity management requires improvement, with “some basic elements of governance not yet in place for many councils”.

The audit found 71 per cent of councils didn’t have IT policies and procedures and 41 per cent didn’t register risks.

Meanwhile, the audit found only twenty per cent of councils had a formal cybersecurity policy or framework, 84 per cent didn’t budget for cybersecurity and 76 per cent had not given staff cybersecurity training.

It was noted that the government will continue to report deficiencies in information technology controls, particularly around user access management. These controls are key to ensuring IT systems are protected from inappropriate access and misuse.

The report, based on audits to the end of 2019, also says councils could be better prepared for new accounting standards being implemented this year and should bolster asset management practices.

It identified 59 prior period errors with a value of $1.3 million, with 59 per cent of those the result of poor asset management.

However, the report gives councils a pat on the back for reducing errors and improving fraud control.

Fewer errors were identified. More councils have audit, risk and improvement committees and internal audit functions. Risk management practices, including fraud control systems, have also improved.

According to an earlier OpenGov Asia article, improving Australia’s cyber preparedness and resilience is a pressing issue that requires a whole-of-society response, according to the Department of Home Affairs Secretary.

The public sector veteran used a video address to the 2020 Edith Cowan and Home Affairs Cyber Security Forum to call for closer collaboration between government, industry and academia on managing Australia’s cyber risks.

He noted that governments cannot do this on their own. Yes, in days past a lot of security threats were managed in great secrecy and by governments taking the lead, the official stated in a video message.

The government had all the information typically, and the government had most of the response options and tools in their inventory. This is no longer the case, and especially so in cyber. Frankly, everyone is on the front line.

The Secretary has been expected to deliver the keynote address for the Forum, which was convened to explore the key findings of last year’s consultation on the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy but was unable to attend in person because his department is dealing with several issues related to bushfires and biosecurity risks.

Developing a strong cybersecurity strategy will require improving cyber resilience. This will, in turn, require partnerships between governments and industry, between state and federal agencies, and with “society at large”.

One area where such partnerships can play a role is in cyber preparedness. Such a vital area cannot be left to CIOs of organisations or to government agencies to manage alone.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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