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PM reveals details of $1.3bn cyber security investment

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed the details of the nation’s largest ever investment in cyber security, with $1.35 billion over the next decade to enhance the cyber security capabilities and assistance provided to Australians through the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre.

user iconStephen Kuper
Wed, 01 Jul 2020
PM reveals details of $1.3bn cyber security investment
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This significant investment, known as the Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package, will mean that we can identify more cyber threats, disrupt more foreign cyber criminals, build more partnerships with industry and government and protect more Australians.

The CESAR package has been designed to boost protection and cyber resilience for all Australians, from individuals and small businesses through to the providers of critical services.

The new capabilities to disrupt and defeat malicious cyber activity, providing greater capacity to take the fight to cyber criminals offshore and to neutralise and block emerging cyber threats to Australia, including:

  • Over $31 million to enhance the ability of ASD to disrupt cyber crime offshore, taking the fight to foreign criminals that seek to target Australians, and providing assistance to federal, state and territory law enforcement agencies;
  • Over $35 million to deliver a new cyber threat-sharing platform, enabling industry and government to share intelligence about malicious cyber activity, and block emerging threats in near real-time; and
  • Over $12 million towards new strategic mitigations and active disruption options, enabling ASD and Australia’s major telecommunications providers to prevent malicious cyber activity from ever reaching millions of Australians across the country by blocking known malicious websites and computer viruses at speed.

Prime Minister Morrison explained, "My government’s record investment in our nation’s cyber security will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe."

To deliver these capabilities and initiatives, the package also includes a $470 million investment to expand our cyber security workforce, with the creation of over 500 new jobs within ASD. Australians who want an exciting career at ASD should go to careers on the ASD website.

CESAR will also enhance our understanding of malicious cyber activity so that emerging cyber threats can be more rapidly identified and responded to, including:

  • Over $118 million for ASD to expand its data science and intelligence capabilities, ensuring Australia remains at the forefront of the technological advancements in cyber security, including the identification of emerging cyber threats to Australia;
  • Over $62 million to deliver a national situational awareness capability to better enable ASD to understand and respond to cyber threats on a national scale. This includes informing vulnerable sectors of the economy about threats most likely to impact them, coupled with tailored advice and assistance about how to mitigate cyber threats; and
  • Over $20 million to establish cutting-edge research laboratories to better understand threats to emerging technology, ensuring that ASD continues to provide timely and authoritative advice about the most secure approaches for organisations to adopt new technology.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds added, "The package will put our nation on the front foot in combating cyber threats and our investment in a cyber security workforce will help ensure we have the people we need to meet future cyber challenges.

"This package is one part of our $15 billion investment in cyber and information warfare capabilities that will form part of Defence’s 2020 Force Structure Plan to address the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape."

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the Australian Federal Police and other Home Affairs agencies are confronting increasingly brazen cyber criminals and other online threats.

"This investment will significantly strengthen our agencies’ ability to tackle these threats," Minister Dutton said.

The remaining details of the CESAR Package will be detailed in our 2020 Cyber Security Strategy, which will build on the strong foundations established by our $230 million 2016 Cyber Security Strategy and our $156 million 2019 cyber security election commitment.

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