Australia’s first National Security Strategy emphasizes cyber defense

The publication of Australia’s first National Security Strategy has revealed that Australia will be turning its economic and strategic focus towards the Asia-Pacific region, and that it considers “sustainable security in Asia” an essential ingredient for its success.

“The digital age is central to Australia’s national security and economic prosperity. From terrorism to organized crime to espionage, malicious cyber activity is a growing and ever changing national security threat. The Government will focus on delivering integrated cyber policy and operations to deal with these developments in the context of its broader digital agenda. This will mean working even more closely with industry, the community and international partners,” Julia Gillard, Australia’s
Prime Minister, wrote in the Strategy’s foreword.

“The number of cyber incidents has increased by 42 per cent over the past two years. The strategy emphasizes the necessity of partnerships – with the Australian community, business and international governments – to better protect the country against potentially devastating cyber-attacks and to meet other national security challenges. It will also encourage the innovation Australia will need to help manage the security risks of the future,” she pointed out.

The document will also guide the country’s response to all threats to its national security, including regional instability, terrorism, espionage, organized crime, and so on.

Gillard also announced a brand new Australian Cyber Security Center that should be opening its doors by the end of the year, and will “provide Australia with an expanded and more agile response capability to deal with all cyber issues” and a “hub for greater collaboration with the private sector, State and Territory governments and international partners.”

The Center will combine “existing cyber security capabilities across the Attorney-General’s Department, Defence, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission.”

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