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Defence releases cyber security guide for SMEs

The federal government has developed a cyber security guide in conjunction with the defence industry, designed to ensure businesses implement appropriate safeguards before engaging in defence projects.

The federal government has developed a cyber security guide in conjunction with the defence industry, designed to ensure businesses implement appropriate safeguards before engaging in defence projects.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price has announced the launch of a new ‘go to’ cyber security guide, ‘Working Securely with Defence’, in a bid to enhance security practices across the sector.

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The guide has been developed by Defence in conjunction with the AiGroup, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) over the past 12 months.

“The development of this guide has been a genuine team effort, drawing on deep expertise and connections across government, Defence, Australian defence industry and industry associations,” Minister Price said.

“It has been developed by industry for industry and will help businesses understand what they need to do to improve their security practices.

“The guide also provides direction and support to current and prospective defence industry and supply chain providers on how to understand their security obligations and improve their security practices when delivering Defence capability.”

Minister Price said the guide complements Defence’s ‘Five Pillars’ strategy.

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“I am making sure Defence works with our industry partners, especially when it comes to cyber security, so that businesses can be ready and more experienced as we come back from COVID-19,” the minister said.

Australian Industry Group national president Chris Jenkins added: “The guide brings together a wealth of relevant information to assist the Defence industry and help build the security culture, compliance and resilience of the sector.

“This is so important to the strategic priorities of Australia, ensuring that both industry and Defence are working on the same page.

“We would especially like to thank all those involved, including the Ai Group Defence Council members, who shared their time, knowledge, expertise, experience and insights in contributing to the development of this guide.”

The release of the guide comes amid research which found that 40 per cent of businesses applying to win Defence work have “insufficient” cyber security measures, which fail to meet Defence’s standards.

According to Defence, more than 600 companies have been offered support to improve their security through the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP).

The DISP, which comprises of over 230 programs, aims to ensure businesses meet their security obligations when engaging in Defence projects, contracts and tenders.

This forms part of the government’s $15 billion investment in enhancing cyber and information warfare capabilities over the coming decade, with $1.35 billion committed to combating malicious cyber activity.

This includes $31 million to provide ASD with the capability to disrupt cyber crime offshore and $35 million to deliver an enhanced cyber threat-sharing platform.

A further $12 million is expected to be invested in new strategic mitigations and active disruption options, while $118 million is set to be spent expanding ASD’s data science and intelligence capabilities.

[Related; Cyber security vulnerabilities exposed by remote work]

Defence releases cyber security guide for SMEs
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