Govt seeks new cyber chief at ACSC

Denham Sadler
Senior Reporter

The government is on the hunt for the new head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre with its current boss set to lead the country’s spy agency from next month, less than a year after taking over the high-profile cyber role from Alastair MacGibbon.

Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) head Rachel Noble was announced as the new ASD director-general late last year, the first woman to lead the agency. She will officially start the role in February.

The ASD has now opened applications to lead the ACSC, with the agency looking for someone that will “ensure that the ACSC is Australia’s peak technical cybersecurity risk for stakeholders across industry, academia and government”.

Rachel Noble

“You will lead the ACSC to deliver clear and timely advice and information to individuals, small to medium business, big business and critical infrastructure operators, enabling them to understand and act on contemporary cybersecurity threats and seize opportunities at speed and scale,” the ASD job ad said.

“You will also be the government’s authority on operational cybersecurity, responsible for shaping and uplifting Australia’s national cybersecurity ecosystem to help make Australia the safest place to connect online.”

Applicants must be Australian citizens and be able to be security cleared to Top Secret Positive Vetting. Applications for the position close at the end of January.

The ACSC was established five years ago and now has about 300 employees. Its role focuses on leading the government’s response to cyber incidents, coordinating cyber efforts with industry and raising awareness of cybersecurity and safety.

It was announced last month that Ms Noble had been appointed as the new ASD director-general, taking over from Lieutenant General John Frewen, who had served as acting boss of the agency since August.

Ms Noble replaced Alastair MacGibbon at the ASCS in June last year and will have served only eight months in the role when she departs next month.

It’s set to be a big year for the ACSC, with the Department of Home Affairs to reveal the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy, a major revamp of its current strategy. The ACSC will likely play a major role in the federal government’s new positioning on cyber.

Government cybersecurity responsibilities are currently shared between the Department of Home Affairs, ACSC, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, the eSafety Commissioner, the Department of Communications.

Numerous submissions to the government’s consultations on the new strategy called for this landscape to be streamlined and made less complex.

As part of the 2016 national cyber strategy, the ACSC was moved under the ASD’s umbrella.

Along with accepting public submissions, the government formed a cybersecurity industry advisory panel to guide the new strategy. But the panel has been criticised for being too corporate-heavy and for lacking any representatives from the startup or SME sectors.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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