The government has laid out its investment plan for a whole-of-government Cyber Security Advisory Office (CSAO).
The CSAO will sit within the Digital Transformation Agency, funded by $10.7 million over four years from 2017-18, budget documents state.
“The CSAO will provide strengthened central governance and assurance for cyber security and broader project vulnerability across government,” the government said in the budget. “The CSAO will work with agencies to ensure they are appropriately managing the risks of cyber and other digital vulnerabilities on digital services.”
The announcement follows recommendations made byPrime Minister’s Special Advisor on Cyber Security, Alastair MacGibbon in his post mortem of last year’s ‘Census fiasco’.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) blamed Distributed Denial of Service attacks originating from overseas for the outage which hit the census website in August.
“What were comparatively small denial of service attacks will have that lasting impact on government and frankly, there’s a lot to learn in the business community as well,” MacGibbon said in September last year.
MacGibbon’s report proposed a cyber security shared services “digital security consulting organisation” to provide “a central point of advice and governance” to agencies.
“Central accountability should be established to ensure that digital service transformations are efficiently structured and effectively delivered,” the Review of the Events Surrounding the 2016 eCensus report states.
A cyber security funding boost will also be given to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Bureau of Meteorology.
The Government will provide $166.6 million over four years from 2017-18 to the DVA, a proportion of which will go towards targeted redevelopment of the department’s IT systems, and improvements to cyber security.
An undisclosed amount will be spent on improving the security and resilience Bureau of Meteorology’s IT systems and businesses processes, budget documents state.
The bureau suffered a “significant cyber intrusion” at the end of 2015, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed in April last year.