Vic government puts $17.6 million towards cyber security strategy

State government also funds boost to Victoria Police’s capacity to handle technology-enabled crime

The Victorian government’s 2018-19 budget includes $17.6 million over four years for the state’s first cyber security strategy.

“Funding will be provided to implement the Government’s cyber security strategy to improve detection and prevention capabilities, and responses to cyber-attacks on Victorian Government IT systems,” budget documents state.

“This funding will ensure we have the strong cyber security capabilities we need to protect the delivery of public services across the whole of the government,” the government said.

The government in mid-2017 signed off on the strategy, which included creating a government chief information security officer role. In October, former ANZ senior manager, information and technology risk John O’Driscoll was announced as Victoria’s first CISO.

Key to the strategy is an emphasis on a whole-of-government approach for information security.

Under the strategy the Victorian government CISO does not take replace responsibility for security within individual state government agencies but is responsible for co-ordinating “cross-government responses in those areas where a whole-of-government approach is preferable, more efficient and will provide better security outcomes than individual approaches – for example, the creation of whole-of-government cyber services, capabilities, reporting, executive engagement, and information dissemination.”

“We’re getting on with delivering Victoria’s first ever Cyber Security Strategy so we can stay ahead of cyber criminals and protect Victorians’ personal information,” said special minister of state, Gavin Jennings.

“This boost will also build upon our state’s position as the tech capital of Australia and a world-leader in tackling cyber threats.”

The budget also earmarks $2.6 million for the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner

In August, Sven Bluemmel was announced as Victoria’s first Information Commissioner. Before joining OVIC Bluemmel was Western Australia’s Information Commissioner.

Prior to OVIC’s creation, freedom of information and privacy were overseen by separate commissioners.

The 2018-19 budget includes $21.9 million over four years to boost Victoria Police’s “ability to respond to serious crime and organised technology-enabled offending”.

“This includes increasing capacity to tackle organised crime syndicates trafficking drugs and firearms on the dark web, online child exploitation, gathering and recording evidence through digital forensic services, conducting covert operations, and gathering intelligence,” budget documents state.

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