Mike Burgess named as new ASIO Director-General of Security

From Telstra chief information security officer to Director-General of Security at Australia's intelligence organisation in less than three years.

mikeburgess.jpg

Image: ParlView screenshot by Josh Taylor/ZDNet

Mike Burgess has been named as the new Director-General of Security for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Burgess leaves his post as Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to assume his new role, having taken helm of the ASD in December 2017.

"In my current role I get to see ASIO very closely as they counter terrorism espionage and foreign interference. It's an incredibly impressive organisation and more so the people who do that work. They are professionals who work tirelessly and effortlessly to protect Australia from serious threats from where they operate in the shadows -- they operate within the law," Burgess told media while announcing his new appointment.

"My role will be to continue that important work."

See also: Australian government, spooks, and industry all on different cyber pages

He takes over from current Director-General of Security Duncan Lewis on September 15.

"ASIO performs incredibly important work of defending Australia from serious threats and those threats are very real," Burgess continued.

"So while I am humbled and excited by the challenge ahead, leaving the Australian Signals Directorate will be difficult. I've had a productive 18 months, a rewarding time, but most importantly I will miss the staff -- the clever, curious, committed individuals who belong to a great team, and like the staff at ASIO, truly make a difference in the security of our country."

Prior to the ASD, Burgess was chief information security officer at Telstra and held various other security roles, such as in consultancy.

He has also previously served as a member of the federal government's Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board and was the Deputy Director for Cyber and Information Security at the Defence Signals Directorate.

RELATED COVERAGE

Australian cyber spooks hacked Islamic State comms before major battle

The Australian Signals Directorate was "firing highly targeted bits and bytes into cyberspace" in close support of the Coalition's battlefield operations, says director-general Mike Burgess.

ASD Director-General hits out at encryption Bill fake news

Claims that the new laws will drive tech companies offshore are flawed, according to ASD Director-General Mike Burgess.

ASD reveals rules for keeping vulnerabilities secret

When Australia's signals intelligence agency finds a cybersecurity vulnerability, it discloses it -- except in a few cases where it might help fulfil a "critical intelligence requirement".

ACSC tightens access controls for Australian government systems

Out goes multi-factor authentication via SMS messages, emails, voice calls, or software certificates for all but the most immature implementations of the Australian Signals Directorate's Essential Eight.