One May 18, Australians will vote on which political party they believe will be shape this country\u2019s future.\nBut this federal election, more than any other, should also be about securing this country in a new world that has only just begun to expose its ugly side.\nSenior execs and board members are finally seeing cybercrime as a serious threat, a problem that is starting to get out of control. In fact, the number of data breaches grew by more than 480 per cent from 2017 to 2018. Australia is now the fifth most breached country in the world with an estimated 20 million recordsexposed.\nIt\u2019s no secret I have been astaunch and outspoken critic of the OAICand its hierarchy for some time and for very good reason. The OAIC\u2019s inability to deliver on its mandate is simply a failed exercise and a wasted resource.\nThe OAIC was established by the Coalition government to be a watchdog in a sector that required extensive scrutiny and monitoring, where its perceived powers would allow it to enforce a standard of expectation which would guarantee the protection of our data and privacy. That hasn\u2019t happened. As a watchdog, it has proven to be a toothless tiger paralysed by the fear of its own shadow.\nWhether it be a re-elected Morrison or a newly elected Shorten government, whoever takes power must be prepared to commit to investing heavily in the OAIC, redefine its powers, strengthen its hierarchy and establish new guidelines of expectations it must adhere to.\nThe time has come for both parties to look towards securing Australia\u2019s borders beyond the physical, and understand the new paradigm of the digital world and how it poses an even greater threat than intercepting boats that travel across distant waters to seek refuge on Australia\u2019s shores.\n\n\n\nCybersecurity brings with it, implications far more sinister and destructive than innocent boat people trying to flee persecution.\nIf Australia as a nation through either a Morrison or Shorten Government fails to heed the warnings of 2018 and what has been brewing, then 2019 could unfold as a point of no return for this country.\nNo clearer a demonstration of what the cyberworld holds and the insidious nature in which it can behave, is amplified through the foreign attacks on Parliament House \u2013 a haven Australians would think difficult to breach \u2013 and yet foreign interest groups did so easily.\nThis federal election should be seen by both Morrison and Shorten as an opportunity to be better and raise the bar of how we protect our virtual borders \u2013 as a point to wipe the slate clean and rethink strategy with the OAIC.This issue now becomes an imperative.\nNow more than ever, our national security is a no longer a single focus platform. It cannot be seen as a silo to only strengthening our physical borders \u2013 the world has changed.\nTechnology continues to deliver us many great opportunities. It opens the doors to a world of unimaginable discovery and just as it has done that. It has also created more complex world, a greater threat far more difficult to guard and protect against without the right investment, strategy or resources.\nAs an election policy, both parties must canvass the issue of investing in cybersecurity. Both must show leadership in an area that may not prove popular as a vote winner, but is crucial to protecting every Australian.\nWhat might appear to be the least popular political policy announcements carry a significant weight of purpose. This is where genuine leadership is shown and needed.\nThe OAIC should be an integral part in the administration and protection of our cybersecurity initiatives along with the Department of Homeland Security, Telecommunications and Information Technology, DSD and ASIO.\nWhoever takes charge of our telecommunications and information technology and homeland security portfolios must ensure a greater level of protection for every Australian.\nThe government must accept its role in failing to rein in the OAIC. It has to invest in greater security standards and measures, or its failure to address what is a dire issue will become a reckoning of disaster that will prove fateful.\nIf the issues around the OAIC and cybersecurity continue to be of little focus, then the OAIC must be disbanded and a new model to protecting our data be rethought and adopted.\nMichael Connory is the CEO of Security In Depth.