Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland yesterday launched an in-depth Cyber Security Strategy for the nation, supported by a new Computer Emergency Response Team to rival the existing AusCERT.
The strategy sets down war plans for Australian spy and policing agencies to protect Australian internet users in response to the 2008 E-Security Review.
"Our Cyber-Security Strategy details Australian government arrangements to defend economic institutions, critical infrastructure, government agencies, businesses and home users from cyber threats," McClelland said in a statement.
The priorities as set out by McClelland were to better detect, analyse and protect against threats, especially around government and critical infrastructure; partner with business on security; use ICT best practice in government systems; educate Australians on threats — releasing a new identity theft booklet entitled Protecting your Identity; change the legal framework to be more effective at prosecuting cyber crime; and create a skilled "cyber security workforce".
McClelland also announced the creation of a new Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT Australia, which will start initial operations in January 2010 and be fully operational by July. It will contain a number of cyber security activities currently being undertaken by Australian government agencies, including the Australian Government Computer Emergency Readiness Team (GovCERT.au) within the Attorney-General's Department.
"CERT Australia will work with other national CERTs around the world, the IT industry and Australian internet service providers to help network operators to identify and respond to cyber security incidents," McClelland said.
The government was investing $6.2 million over four years on top of current funding for GovCERT.au to bring together the team. CERT Australia is currently negotiating with the University of Queensland for the provision of services. (AusCERT is managed by the university.)
It will also work with the Department of Defence's Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC), established as part of the Defence White Paper.
"The Cyber Security Operations Centre provides the Australian Government with cyber situational awareness and the ability to facilitate operational responses to cyber security incidents of national importance," Defence Minister John Faulkner said.