Prime minister Julia Gillard has highlighted the importance of ongoing vulnerability management and cyber security, in a speech delivered on January 23 in Canberra regarding the future of Australia's national security.
In unveiling Strong and Secure: A Strategy for Australia’s National Security, Ms Gillard noted that it was the government's responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Australian citizens.
She also highlighted the fact that a new decade has brought with it new threats and risks that require urgent action and preparation, expressing that "clarity" would be demanded in the nation's strategic thinking.
While much of Ms Gillard's speech focussed on the threat of both domestic and international terrorism, she also took a significant amount of time to highlight the danger of modern cybercrime.
"In this digital era we also face the new and growing threat from state and non-state actors of malicious cyber activity which poses such dangers to government, to business and to individuals. So this too is a risk clearly identified in the Strategy," said Ms Gillard.
Ms Gillard went on to explain that Australians can expect "a more sophisticated focus" on cyber security from their government in the future, as the rolling out of the National Broadband Network continues across much of the country.
"Australia is an attractive target for a range of malicious cyber actors, from politically-motivated hackers and criminal networks to nation-states," she said.
"This not only has the potential to affect governments but businesses and the community alike."
She explained that it would be necessary therefore to ensure that the most important and vulnerable networks in particular are the hardest for cybercriminals to compromise.
In order to achieve this the government plans to invest in opening a new Australian Cyber Security Centre by the end of 2013, which will serve as a central world class location for the Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Crime Commission, among others, to collaborate on cyber security.
According to Ms Gillard, the Australian government has already made significant investments towards achieving a higher level of cyber security across the country.
The minister also referred to the recent establishment of the Office of the Cyber Policy Coordinator as an example of how the government is looking to ensure leadership and direction on this issue moving forward.
Ms Gillard's speech highlights just how important cyber security has become in the modern digital era, not just to individuals but to organisations, corporations and the public sector as well.
Any business concerned about its own level of vulnerability management may want to consider investing in a security audit evaluation, in order to take a significant step towards identifying any potential weak points in their existing system.
Interested readers can view Julia Gillard's full speech on national security by clicking here.