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Australia Takes Nationwide Approach to Cybersecurity

December 4, 2013
By Robert K. Ackerman
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A U.S. official calls the system a model for all nations.

Australia has implemented a cybersecurity policy that brings together government and industry to secure the domain nationally. The country recently elevated cybersecurity as a major priority for national security, and in 2009, it established a Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC).

Cameron Ashe, an Australian official who is the deputy J-2 at the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), described it to a panel audience at TechNet Asia-Pacific 2013 in Honolulu, Hawaii, as “taking a whole-of-government approach to a whole-of-nation problem.” The CSOC has reported greatly increased cyber activities nationally, with the number of incidents requiring attention more than doubling from 2011 to 2012.

Earlier this year, the government announced the creation of the Australian Cyber Security Center, which will address government and industry operations as well as criminal activity. Rear Adm. Willie Metts, USN, PACOM J-2, described the Australian approach as a model for all nations, including the United States.

Ashe pointed out that risks and effects are shared equally by government and industry. Accordingly, they must share best practices in a collaborative environment. This includes sharing the development and implementation of cybersecurity training and education.

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