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National Cyber Security Plan supported by industry

"The National Cyber Security Strategy released by the Australian Government today encourages cooperation between government, industry and research institutions both to address cyber security threats and promote innovation," Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"The digitally enabled economy can transform practices, raise performance and increase growth across all sectors. But as businesses pursue the benefits, cyber security threats are becoming a greater issue for boardrooms. Incidents can be costly for individual businesses and damaging for the wider economy. These costs come not just from disrupting operations and services, but by diminishing trust, damaging reputations, and sapping business and consumer confidence.

"Assisting businesses to be fully cyber aware and respond to cyber security incidents is good for growth. The Government's plan to work closely with industry on best practice guidance for companies in preventing, managing and responding to cyber security incidents is sensible.

"Ai Group also welcomes the opportunity for broader industry-government collaboration to track emerging cyber security problems, develop practical and workable solutions, and encourage greater innovation. This collaborative approach can be put into practice not just through the valuable annual meetings announced, but also through the daily work of the new Special Adviser and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Cyber Security, the joint cyber threat sharing centres, and the Government's recently established Cyber Security Industry Growth Centre.

"The revised Strategy is also a welcome addition to the Government's recent Defence Industry Policy Statement which includes a number of important initiatives for assisting Australian companies, particularly through the Centre for Defence Industry Capability.

"The broader discussion of boosting Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) is directly relevant to ensuring we have the skills base for effective cyber security. The Government should coordinate these agendas closely.

"As a partner of the B20 Coalition, we are encouraged by the Government's recognition that cyber security incidents and opportunities also require a global perspective in which Australia can play a lead role. We look forward to working with the Government's new Cyber Ambassador. 

"The Government will need a fresh look at its Telecommunications Sector Security Reform in light of the Strategy. The draft legislation was widely seen as heavy handed. With a Strategy for collaboration, agility and innovation in cyber security now in place, the Government should consider whether the proposed TSSR is an appropriate and proportionate solution.

"Overall, the revised Strategy outlines a number of positive initiatives aimed to address the challenges with cyber security. The Government's announced funding and additional resources to implement these initiatives and intention to work closely with industry are good foundations to implement these initiatives more effectively. We look forward to working together to achieve these initiatives," Mr Willox said.

Media Enquiries:  Tony Melville - 0419 190 347