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Australian government bolsters capability to counter cyber crime

The government aims to support Australian organisations and individuals from cyber compromise under the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 by tackling cyber criminals head-on.

The government aims to support Australian organisations and individuals from cyber compromise under the Cyber Security Strategy 2020 by tackling cyber criminals head-on.

According to Andrew Hastie, Assistant Minister for Defence, the Australian government will invest $164.9 million to tackle cyber criminals and to support Australian organisations and individuals from cyber compromise. 

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“In 2018, the Australian Cyber Security Centre was established within the Australian Signals Directorate as the standing taskforce that combines the expertise of foreign and domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies to fight cyber crime,” Hastie said. 

“The Australian Signals Directorate has used, and will continue to use, its broad range of offensive cyber capabilities to disrupt and bring cyber criminal syndicates targeting Australia to their knees. Offensive cyber is just one of the tools in Australia’s toolkit

“Any cyber criminal operating on the dark web or hiding behind encryption should be on notice that the full range of Australia’s intelligence and law enforcement capabilities are being aimed at you. ”

Ransomware is one of the most damaging types of cyber attacks, which can have severe and long-lasting impacts to Australian organisations and their operations. Hastie is encouraging companies and organisations to have protective measures in place that will make it harder for cyber criminals to harm their business. 

“I encourage Australian organisations to report their ransomware incidents to the ACSC so we can protect and warn all organisations and build better overall cyber defences for ‘Team Australia’,” he said.

State governments have also committed to reinforcing cyber defences, with Queensland's Palaszczuk government investing $11 million over the next two years in 'whole of government' cyber security enhancements as part of its 2021-22 budget.

On behalf of law enforcement agencies, the ACSC is managing ReportCyber, a single online portal for individuals and businesses to report cyber incidents.   

“The ACSC takes the information it learns from cyber attacks against Australian businesses, and uses it to warn and protect further Australian organisations from being targeted,” Hastie said. 

“Prevention is better than cure, and with cyber security the best offence is often a strong defence.

“The ACSC provides vital advice and assistance to defend Australian businesses and individuals against ransomware, and brings together the Australian Signals Directorate’s intelligence, offensive cyber and cyber security capabilities to defend Australia’s interests from malicious cyber actors.

Hastie is encouraging companies and organisations to have protective measures in place that will make it harder for cyber criminals to harm their business. 

The ACSC has published a ransomware Prevention and Protection Guide, and Emergency Response Guide. The guides are available at cyber.gov.au/ransomware. 

[Related: Australian government unveils International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy]

Australian government bolsters capability to counter cyber crime
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