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Budget 2024: The cyber security first look

This year’s federal budget focuses on three very discrete cyber security areas: veterans claims processing, ATO support for victims of cyber crimes, and protecting Services Australia.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 14 May 2024
Budget 2024: The cyber security first look
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Treasurer Jim Chalmers has delivered the 2024 budget – and cyber security is mentioned a total of three times in the budget overview document.

Many areas of government are receiving cyber security uplifts, but funding for specific cyber security ventures is focused on three key areas.

This should not be too surprising, with 2023’s budget a signal year for cyber security investment and the ambitious REDSPICE announcement of the year before. All these projects are ongoing.

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This year’s spending plan seems like a much more humble follow-up effort.

The main goal this year is, however, laudable – to protect essential services for the country.

Services Australia gets a cyber shot in the arm

$1.8 billion is going towards “delivering safer and more efficient government services for all Australians”. Part of that will go towards strengthening Services Australia’s cyber security environment.

The MyGov will receive a significant investment that aims, among other things, to make the platform more secure. MyGov will see a four-year investment of $580.3 million and yearly boosts of $139.6 million. Another 50 million will be aimed at securing the MyGov platform itself, particularly to protect personal data held by Services Australia.

Helping the victims of cyber crime

This is another one where cyber security is backed into a wider investment. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will receive $187.4 million in funding “to better protect taxpayer data and Commonwealth revenue against fraudulent attacks on the tax and superannuation systems”.

This will upgrade the ATO’s IT and communications infrastructure as well as boost its fraud prevention capacity. This is to ensure the ATO has the resources to manage risk and prevent loss while providing a helping hand to those hit hardest by cyber crime and fraud – the victims.

Keeping veterans safe

The government has been working on clearing a backlog in veterans’ claims for some time, but now that has been cleared, it’s time to secure the process.

On top of a $186 million investment in staffing, the claims process will also be bolstered by a further $8.4 million “to improve case management and protect against cyber risk”.

A quantum of solace

There is, of course, the $466.4 billion investment in quantum computing to think of, though the government’s choice of the California-headquartered PsiQuantum to be the “anchor tenant” of Brisbane-based quantum precinct is raising more than a few eyebrows.

The government also continues investing in the country’s long-awaited digital ID scheme. Successive Labor and LNP governments have already spent $1 billion on the project, and Chalmers has tossed another $288.1 million into the digital ID pot over the next four years.

Come back soon, as we’re collecting the industry’s thoughts on this year’s spending for another Industry Speaks feature.


David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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