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Defence unveils new data strategy

The Commonwealth government has laid out a new plan aimed at bolstering cyber resilience across Defence amid the heightened threat environment.

user icon Charbel Kadib
Wed, 04 Aug 2021
Defence unveils new data strategy
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Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie has announced the release of the Defence Data Strategy 2021-2023, which outlines the pillars, practical initiatives and priority data areas required to enhance data management and analytics across Defence in response to the evolving threat environment.

The five-pillar strategy — govern, trust, discover, use and share — aims to enable Defence to more effectively leverage data to execute tasks in support of Australia’s national interests.

Priority areas include:

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  • Identifying gaps in workforce capability;
  • Assessing the effectiveness of capability delivery to stakeholders;
  • Exploring better ways to improve organisational capacity and provide policy advice to government;
  • Identifying ways to ‘stand up’ strategic taskforces and support their evolving needs; and
  • Improving whole-of-life health, safety, and wellbeing outcomes for past and present ADF personnel and their families.

To advance the agenda outlined in the strategy, the government has set out a roadmap detailing next steps.

This begins with the appointment of a chief data integration officer and an implementation team later this year.

The chief data integration officer will be responsible for leading Defence engagement with Five Eyes and whole-of-Australian government data and analytics forums.

This will be followed by the development of a detailed implementation plan, a Defence data operating model, and the establishment of a Defence data management board.

“As our strategic challenges evolve, we are also witnessing the exponential growth of data and its application in the digital battle space,” Minister Hastie said.

In the uncertain years ahead, the use of data and the management of data will be fundamental to how we keep our nation and our people safe and secure.”

Minister Hastie noted the deterioration of the geostrategic environment amid major power competition, military modernisation, and disruptive technological change.

“Expanding cyber warfare, grey zone tactics, and the willingness by some countries and non-state actors to use hostile cyber activities are further degrading Australia’s strategic environment,” he continued.

“These cyber activities will compromise military capability and operations if we fail to act. They can also drive disinformation, weaken critical infrastructure, and destabilise political and social systems.

“They are a reality that we cannot ignore.”

Minister Hastie added: “Whether we like it or not, we are joined in an online contest to preserve our digital sovereignty as a country.

“Therefore, lifting Defence’s data maturity across the organisation will position us to achieve a strategic advantage over our adversaries.”

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres

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