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Australian cyber security chief announces resignation ahead of poll

The head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Alastair MacGibbon has announced his resignation for 28 May to return to the private sector.

user iconStephen Kuper
Tue, 07 May 2019
Australian cyber security chief announces resignation ahead of poll
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The ACSC under MacGibbon was made part of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in January 2018.

Announcing the resignation over the weekend, ASD director-general Mike Burgess thanked MacGibbon for his fierce advocacy, raising the public profile for the importance of cyber security for the community, businesses and governments.

"He is indeed the face of cyber security in Australia and, through his leadership, helped raise the nation's cyber security standards," Burgess said.

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The ACSC drives cyber resilience across the whole of the economy, including critical infrastructure and systems of national interest, federal, state and local governments, small and medium business, academia, the not-for-profit sector and the Australian community.

ASD principal deputy director-general Lieutenant General John Frewen will add the leadership of the ACSC to his responsibilities until MacGibbon's replacement can be found.

Burgess added, "His work in response to the recent compromise of the Australian Parliament's computer network is a good example of how Alastair and his team have made an important, practical difference to cyber security in Australia."

It is the hub for private and public sector collaboration and information-sharing, to prevent and combat cyber security threats and to minimise harm to all Australians.

More specifically, the ACSC provides:

  • Responses to cyber security threats and incidents as Australia’s computer emergency response team (CERT);
  • Collaborates with the private and public sector to share information on threats and increase resilience;
  • Works with governments, industry and the community to increase awareness of cyber security; and
  • Provides information, advice and assistance to all Australians.

The ACSC is the Australian government's lead on national cyber security. It brings together cyber security capabilities from across the Australian government to improve the cyber resilience of the Australian community and support the economic and social prosperity of Australia in the digital age.

In July 2018, the ACSC became part of the ASD, which became a statutory agency. Australian government cyber security expertise from CERT Australia and the Digital Transformation Agency moved into the ACSC.

ASD is a vital member of Australia’s national security community, working across the full spectrum of operations required of contemporary signals intelligence and security agencies: intelligence, cyber security and offensive operations in support of the Australian government and Australian Defence Force.

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