Older Australians, small businesses and national security assets will be the focus of a $156 million cyber security investment from the Coalition government, if it is re-elected.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the funding would keep Australians safe while protecting businesses and the broader economy.
“As the risk of cyber attack increases, we need to ensure Australians are protected and our defence forces and capabilities continue to get the backing they need,” PM Morrison said.
“We will continue to take a proactive approach against cyber criminals at home and overseas, including scammers, fraudsters and those involved in child exploitation.”
Cyber crime costs the economy over $1 billion a year, with families and small to medium-sized businesses often affected.
The funding the government would provide would be put towards the following:
- Invest $50 million to create a Cyber Security National Workforce Growth Program to create the cyber workforce we will need in the decades to come;
- Invest $40 million to establish a Countering Foreign Cyber Criminals capability within the Australian Cyber Security Centre, and drawing on the expertise of the Australian Federal Police to combat the increasingly sophisticated organised cyber crime gangs; and
- Invest $26 million to support the Australian Cyber Security Centre to expand its assistance to the community in the fight against malicious cyber criminals and actors.
A $40 million investment would also be made into Defence to grow its cyber warfare workforce, with the following strategy outlined by the government:
- Accelerate the creation of 230 positions for military cyber operations specialists in the ADF over the next four years, significantly enhancing existing capabilities;
- Build on our highly successful ADF Gap Year Program to create up to 100 new gap year positions each year that are focused on cyber and information warfare domains to encourage young Australians, particularly women, to embark on a cyber-related career; and
- Expand the Australian government cyber security ‘SPRINT’ teams to work with owners and operators of critical infrastructure to prepare against future cyber threats.