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Cyber resilience key to securing Australia’s economic future

President of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) Foundation and former adviser to the Obama and Trump administrations, Chris Painter, has told the 2020 Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Conference in Melbourne that nations in the Oceania region must put a greater emphasis on cyber policy.

user iconStephen Kuper
Thu, 20 Feb 2020
Cyber resilience key to securing Australia’s economic future
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Painter, a vanguard of US and international cyber issues for over 25 years, was unequivocal in his keynote that cyber security and cyber security policy was an urgent and fundamental issue of national importance for all nations.

"Given the severity of the threat and our increasing dependence on cyber space, the US and other governments around the world have moved from treating cyber policy — including cyber security, cyber crime, internet governance and internet freedom — as niche or technical issues to treating them as core issues of national security, economic policy, human rights and, ultimately, core issues of foreign policy," said Painter.

He said that, while Australia enjoyed a warm relationship with the US, it should not take its position for granted and the Australian government had a responsibility to ensure cyber security, and cyber security policy specifically, remained a priority.


Speaking at the conference, Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC) chair Cameron Boardman said convening the event in Melbourne was a testament to the strength of the partnership and collaboration between the organisations.

"The 2020 Global Cyber Security Conference is the first time this event has been held outside of the UK and we are delighted to welcome our partners and delegates from across the world to Melbourne," he said.

Boardman reinforced the need for a greater focus on policy settings that would ultimately improve the cyber resilience of Australia and its neighbours across the Oceania Pacific region.

"The OCSC’s work in building national cyber resilience is focused on the Oceania Pacific region. Globally, this region is the largest contributor to the world’s digital market and is expected to contribute $1.4 trillion to global e-commerce," said Boardman.

"We recognise that this region presents significant opportunities and complex cyber challenges. In many ways, it is at the forefront of the world’s digital revolution. It is home to some one of the most advanced digital economies in the world, however, there are countries in the region where digital development is still in its early stages."

The 2020 Global Cyber Security Capacity Building Conference is co-hosted by Melbourne-based OCSC, the GCSCC from the University of Oxford, the birthplace of the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model (CMM), and the GFCE based in The Hague.

"By improving the cyber security of our partners, we strengthen our own cyber defences. Ultimately that is the aim of this conference: build our domestic knowledge and capability, promote confidence in the online environment, reduce losses attributable to cyber crime, create the right environment for multistakeholder internet governance, protect human rights and deliver sustainable development outcomes," said Boardman.

The OCSC is a not-for-profit collaboration of eight universities based in Victoria.

It obtains substantial support from the Victorian government and has the broad aim of engaging with government and industry to conduct research, develop training opportunities and build capacity in Australia and across the Oceania region for responding to current and emerging cyber security issues.

Some of the key OCSC areas of interest include: critical infrastructure, data analytics, network security, cryptography, privacy and social media, AI and automation, and organisational security.

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