Following the Australian Government’s long-awaited release
of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy (the Strategy), the Budget outlines the
funding details for the cybersecurity initiatives identified in the Strategy. Some of the initiatives featured in the Budget are new (for example, the
establishment of centres of cybersecurity excellence) while others are
pre-existing (the expansion of Australia’s Computer Emergency Response
Team—CERT), or rebadged (cybersecurity awareness campaign).
The Strategy’s funding of $230 million covers the next four
years. This is in addition to
the $300–400 million, over the next ten years, which was recently announced in
the 2016 Defence White Paper to improve Defence’s cybersecurity capabilities.
The funding allocations for the Strategy’s five main themes announced
by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 1 May 2016 are:
- $38.8 million for the ‘national cyber partnership’, which
Prime Ministerial meetings with industry stakeholders, and ‘streamlining’ of
government structures led by a new Minister assisting the Prime Minister on
cybersecurity and a special advisor and
of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to ‘a new more accessible
location in Canberra that will make it easier for stakeholders to engage with’ (Budget
measures: budget paper no. 2: 2016–17 suggests that the entire $38.8
million is to fund the relocation).
- $136.1 million for improving cyber defences, which includes:
million to allow small businesses to access cybersecurity testing
for voluntary business cybersecurity governance health checks and
development of a best practice guide on good cybersecurity.
- $6.7 million for ‘global responsibility and influence’, including:
establishment of Australia’s new Cyber Ambassador and
building with international partners towards greater cyber resilience.
- $38 million for ‘growth and innovation’, which is funded through
the National Innovation and Science Agenda (the Agenda) and includes:
establishment of a Cyber Security Growth Centre that was announced in December
2015 as part of the Agenda and
research under the CSIRO’s Data61 group towards commercialised solutions and education activities.
- $10 million towards the ‘cyber smart nation’ initiative, which
the cybersecurity skills shortage by encouraging a greater uptake of study in
the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths
Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence at key education institutions and
public awareness on cybersecurity issues.
The implementation of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy
appears as a line item in a number of portfolio areas. In the Defence Portfolio
Budget Statement 2016–17, a reduction in Defence’s appropriation allows the
transfer of $122.2 million over four years to other portfolios. This amounts to more than half of the Government’s stated $230 million funding
for the Strategy.
Defence is also expected to absorb $51.1 million which comprises
the cost of: relocating the ACSC; conducting ‘cyber security assessments for
Commonwealth entities’; and identifying ‘cyber vulnerabilities in the
Commonwealth systems’. Defence resources will
also be used to fund other initiatives to ‘complement’ the 2016 Defence White
Paper and implement the Strategy, including:
- $82.3 million over the forward estimates to the
Attorney-General’s Department for a number of new and existing (or expanded)
activities, such as the establishment of Joint Cyber Threat Centres
- $20.4 million to the Australian Federal Police and $16 million to
the Australian Crime Commission to increase their cybercrime capabilities and
- $3.5 million to the Department of Education and Training to
establish ‘six academic centres of cyber security excellence’.
The Industry, Innovation and Science Portfolio Budget
Statement 2016–17 allocates $12 million over the next four years towards
the Strategy’s implementation.
There is no new cybersecurity funding for the Department of the
Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Communications and the Arts, or the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)—for example, the cost of
creating the Cyber Ambassador role will be absorbed by DFAT’s existing budget. However, a number of cybersecurity related expense measures were announced in
the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook that included:
- $74.6 million over three years, from 2016–17, to fund the CSIRO’s
Data61 group which comprises:
for Open Data’ using whole-of-government geospatial data and national mapping
platforms for governments and business to access unconnected and unlockable
sources of data
industry cybersecurity protection business applications and ‘advanced learning
Innovation Marketplace’ as an expertise-sharing program involving ‘businesses
and other organisations’ and
Skilling Industry’ to fast-track ‘data analytics educational’ programs within
- $1.5 million for the Department of the Prime Minister and
All online articles accessed May 2016.
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