Sometimes the most dangerous enemies are the ones closest to home—and that’s exactly when cybersecurity needs to up its game.
That’s the idea behind the Australian federal government’s brand-new $1.66 billion cybersecurity package, unveiled this morning, and positioned to, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, “track criminals in the darkest corners of the Internet to protect our families and children.” The initiative comes amid the COVID-19 lockdown, which has driven both families and businesses to spend more time online.
One of the larger elements of the cybersecurity package includes $88 million to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for attaining powerful new cyber tools and boosting its cyber capabilities, in order to break into parts of the dark web that house online pedophiles and domestic terrorists.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton expressed particular concerns about children being targeted in chat groups, cybercriminals scamming the elderly with phishing tactics, and ransomware attacks on businesses, as well as foreign governments’ attempts to steal health data and corrupt banking or energy systems.
Earlier this year, Australia faced an escalating series of cyberattacks allegedly enacted by a rival state, which federal security agencies eventually linked to China. PM Morrison emphasized that the goal was for the government to protect its essential infrastructure and services, but it also seeks to utilize its new cybersecurity resources in supporting businesses as they venture further into the digital world.
A Reinforced Response
The Australian government’s new strategy takes a multi-pronged approach to improving its cybersecurity capabilities. For one, it awards $66 million to the operators of vital infrastructure entities, like power plants, communications, and ports, to frequently assess and patch network vulnerabilities.
In an effort to protect more essential contributors to everyday life, the government plans to change the very definition of “critical infrastructure,” meaning that operators of banking, finance, health, food, and grocery will be held to the same standards of cybersecurity.
The risk to small-to-midsize businesses remains prominent everywhere in the world, but now they’ll have federal assistance to upgrade their systems. As for the often steep learning curve for those not versed in the world of cybersecurity, the government intends to partner with larger businesses and IT security providers to help the public stay informed and provide vital IT security services.
Initially, efforts to contain the emerging cyber threat were redirected to a plan involving the Australian Signals Directorate, the country’s premier international cyber intelligence agency. The AFP, among other security agencies, planned to partner with the Directorate to track down the malicious actors in question.
Now, the AFP and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission have the tools and authority to chase down cybercriminals and criminal networks themselves, stopping serious criminal activity at the source.
The initiative is meant to involve all citizens in keeping their communities and businesses safe from cyberattacks by giving them the necessary tools and the instruction necessary to wield them. The government believes that as criminal networks grow and state actors plan to launch large-scale cyberattacks, they won’t stand a chance against an informed response by federal security agencies and civilians alike.
Standing Up To Cyber Threats
Your cybersecurity is BAI Security’s first priority. We understand that exceptional service requires exceptional methods, and we’re here to supply you with only the finest of best-in-breed tools in the hands of the most highly qualified experts to ensure your safety in the digital world.
Additionally, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re offering a Fully Remote Audit that incorporates all elements of our robust, nationally recognized evaluation into an off-site service that will honor social distancing practices and public health safety. Other offerings include a Remote Worker Risk Assessment, to ensure the security of your workers’ remote environment, and pricing assurance to combat the industry-wide price hikes predicted for late 2020.
Make a commitment to the future of your organization’s cybersecurity and contact us today.