The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), which forms an integral part of the broader Australian Signals Directorate, is set to receive a new chief this month with the appointment of Abigail Bradshaw.
Bradshaw's colourful and varied pedigree began with the Royal Australian Navy, and she comes to the position from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, where she has served as deputy co-ordinator of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.
ASD Director-General Rachel Noble PSM made the announcement late on Friday afternoon. Congratulating Bradshaw on snagging the role, she pointed to the latter's "deep experience in crisis management and incident response" across a broad range of security roles and portfolios. Senior-level experience in maritime border command, counter-terrorism and bushfire recovery management have positioned her with a wealth of technical and personal skills relevant to the role.
“Cyber threats in Australia continue to increase in sophistication,” said Noble.
“Ms Bradshaw has the proven experience to continue the ACSC’s commitment to ensuring Australia is the safest place to connect online.”
Bradshaw, in turn, reiterated that she was "delighted to be returning to the Defence portfolio".
“I look forward to working closely again with colleagues inside and outside the portfolio, and with the talented team in ACSC to acquit our important cyber mission,” she said.
Established in 2014, the ACSC replaced the Cyber Security Operations Centre. In line with recommendations made out in the 2017 independent review of the Australian intelligence community, the body's role has been consolidated and strengthened within ASD as a whole. ASCS now serves as a collation point for national security cyber capabilities found across DIO, the AFP, Home Affairs, ASIO and ACIC. Bradshaw's role will thus encompass oversight of cyber operation and response across all these bodies, and the development of a holistic response to address cyber security incidents.
Noble also used the opportunity to announce the elevation of Linda Geddes to ACSC's new deputy director-general (signal intelligence and network operations).
“Ms Geddes will be a tremendous asset to ASD as she brings to this role her deep counter-terrorism and national security experience, including through her current role as the Commonwealth’s counter-terrorism coordinator,” said Noble.
Geddes has previously held senior appointments in Home Affairs, PM&C and ONI, has served in ASD, New Zealand’s GCSB, and served for 11 years in the Australian Army.
“I am very excited to be returning to ASD. I have had the privilege of working in this great organisation twice before, both as a member of the ADF and as a public servant, and I look forward to renewing old relationships and making new ones. I also look forward to working with Director-General Noble once more,” Ms Geddes said.