Cisco calls for national cyber security strategy

Strategy would align resources to drive cyber enabled national economy

The establishment of a national cyber security strategy that aligns national resources to drive a 'cyber-enabled’ national economy is among Cisco's recommendations to the Australian Cyber Security Review.

The vendor is a contributor to the review which was announced in November last year.

The review will look at how government and industry can work together to improve the security of online systems.

Cisco’s other recommendations include a partnership between government, public and private entities to address:

  • Increasing cyber security leadership in corporations and institutions
  • Multi-sector information sharing including threat research
  • Development of state based cyber centres as an extension of the Australian Cyber Security Centre
  • Building cyber security skills, education and training
  • Incentives for accelerating innovation.

“The formation of a national level cyber strategy is critical for a strong economy today and in the future. It’s an opportunity for Australia to be a global leader as the world economy enters the next wave of digital enablement,” states the vendor’s submission.

“The number one cyber challenge for Australia is the increasing number of incidents that are causing harm to the economy and society. From breaches, crimes and disruption of essential services to the destruction of corporate assets- the frequency of these incidents needs to be addressed.”

According to Cisco, national losses from cyber security incidents are estimated to be as high as 1 per cent of GDP. This could be as much as $17 billion per year for Australia.

Cisco chief security and trust officer John Stewart said the review was a “pre-emptive” initiative.

“Undertaking a national review of any nature is difficult for governments. Actually implementing recommendations is even harder,” he said.

“We are pleased the Australian government has accepted the challenge of proactively protecting the nation’s digital future by seeking safer cyber security practices.”

Stewart said Australia has acknowledged the link between national security and economic prosperity by establishing cyber security as a top national priority.

This requires the necessary attention and support to ensure the country is ready for the next wave of digital enablement, he said.

Telco industry body Communications Alliance has previouslynew argued that that historic developments have left Australia with a large number of government departments and agencies with overlapping cyber security responsibilities.

Comms Alliance has called for the creation of a single national point of access to government’s cyber security agencies.

Earlier this week Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) released its first first public report outlining its assessment of the Australian information security landscape.

The ACSC predicts that cyber crime activity will continue to increase over the next five years as Australia’s relative wealth and high use of technology makes it an attractive target for organised criminal syndicates.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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