Securing our economic prosperity by strengthening cyber security

The Morrison Government is continuing to deliver on key commitments from Australia’s $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy 2020, releasing today a discussion paper consulting on reforms to strengthen the cyber security of Australia’s digital economy.

Reforms under consideration include stronger cyber security standards for the digital economy, more transparent information about cyber security, and stronger legal remedies for consumers.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said with Australian businesses and consumers more active online than ever before, opportunities for cyber criminals to target Australians are increasing.

“The Government is taking action to mitigate the real and present danger that cybercrime presents to Australians and our economy. We cannot allow this criminal activity to become a significant handbrake on our economic growth and digital security,” Minister Andrews said.

“I want to make sure Australian businesses – big and small – are secure, and consumers are protected. Through this period of consultation, I’m keen to hear from businesses, the critical infrastructure sector, IT experts, and the wider public, about the solutions and mitigations they propose.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said it is critical that Australia’s digital economy is protected, especially as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As Australian businesses increasingly move online, it’s important that they are best able to protect themselves and their customers against cyber security threats, without being concerned that their hard won profits could become a target for criminals,” Minister Porter said.

“This process will build on the measures the Government is already delivering to help businesses improve their cyber security, including the $8.3 million Cyber Security Connect and Protect Program to uplift the cyber security of small and medium businesses and $70.3 million Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund to grow Australia’s cyber security workforce.”

The consultation comes as the Australian Institute of Criminology releases a new report which puts the total economic impact of cybercrime on individuals in the Australian economy at $3.5 billion, including $1.9 billion lost by Australian victims.

Interested stakeholders are invited to make a submission to the public discussion paper by 27 August 2021 or register for a briefing session at homeaffairs.gov.au/cyber.​

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