Aimee Chanthadavong
December 19, 2017

Two-way dialogue on cybersecurity

Security

Two-way dialogue on cybersecurity

Rob Le Busque: Constructive industry-government dialogue stronger than ever

In recent years the federal government has noticeably taken next-step measures to protect the country from cyberattacks, whether it’s with the delivery of its cybersecurity strategy or investing $50 million over the next seven years in a Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre.

The reason these measures were introduced is because the conversations being had behind closed doors between industry and government, particularly in the last two to four years.

These discussions have underpinned policy decision-making, and improved the nation’s overall cyber readiness, according to Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ managing director for Australia, New Zealand and India Rob LeBusque.

He said the industry-government cybersecurity discussion is “much more of a two-way dialogue” than it ever has been.

“As the threat landscape becomes far more complex, so has the realisation that you can’t do it all yourself. So government has been a willing party to the dialogue,” Mr Le Busque said.

“What we’ve observed with the Australian government is that it might take them a while to get there, but they understand those new consumption models. They understand the need to change the way they consume and operate IT,” he said.

“Part of that is because operating the way the government has historically will not protect it in the future. It will only create far greater opportunities to be attacked, and fundamentally they know this.”

But in order to drive any change – and ultimately the best outcome – Verizon’s chief information officer Vic Bhagat says the conversations have to be supported by having the right regulations and policies in place.

Mr Bhagat said this is easier said than done for policy-makers. They had to strike the right balance between locking down cyber boundaries, but not so much that it stifles the ability to innovate.

Mr Le Busque said the industry-government collaboration needed to start at policy level, which in his opinion is often indicative of a “very mature and measured approach”.

“From there it’s about understanding how that policy can translate into strategy, investment, and execution,” he said.

“In the Australian context, we have seen an acceleration in that decision making, which is very positive. While it’s not broad based, it’s not across all levels of government, but there are leaders and people that are taking that leadership position and saying, ‘hey they’ve done it, why can’t we?’”

Ultimately, Mr Bhagat believes the combination of having the right policies in place plus a transparent relationship between government and industry will likely deliver the co-creation of better solutions.

This echoes remarks Minister Assisting the Prime Minister Dan Tehan have previously made about the need for government, industry and businesses to work together to deliver cybersecurity solutions.

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