Are two CERTs better than one?

The Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT) knew it needed to expand in order to deal with greater security threats and had asked the Federal Government for new funding. Instead, a new government CERT was formed.

The Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT) knew it needed to expand in order to deal with greater security threats and had asked the Federal Government for new funding. Instead, a new government CERT was formed.

"It was difficult for us because we were trying to cover too much territory, which is why we put a submission in for more funding, more resources," AusCERT general manager Graham Ingram told ZDNet Australia at the AusCERT 2010 security conference last week. "Of course we would've loved those funding resources to come to us, but the reality is [that] the government has taken a different view — which is their right,"

Instead of giving the not-for-profit organisation the ability to expand, the government last November created a new Computer Emergency Response Team to support its freshly created in-depth Cyber Security Strategy for the nation.

Ingram said AusCERT would have to finish negotiations with the new CERT on which areas each would focus on before July this year.

The two CERTs would likely be complementary, according to Ingram, adding that he thought that CERT Australia would be more a "government provision to the community". AusCERT has traditionally nurtured business relationships.

However, he thought that having two organisations would complicate things for those making use of the teams, saying it was "easier when we had one CERT", going on to clarify: "easier for everyone else, [not] necessarily easier for [AusCERT]".

All in all, Ingram said Australia would have to wait and see whether the change was good or bad. "I think, as a lot of people say, the proof [will be] in the pudding."

Ben Grubb attended AusCERT 2010 on the Gold Coast as a guest of AusCERT.

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