Govt wants industry advice on cyber hubs project

Denham Sadler
National Affairs Editor

The federal government wants the cybersecurity industry to help shape the “bold” new cyber hubs, which will provide more than 40 services to the public sector.

The Hardening Government IT (HGIT) program was established in August 2020 as part of the Cyber Security Strategy, in an effort to improve public sector cybersecurity and whole-of-government cyber capabilities.

As part of this program, a number of cyber hubs will be established to centralise federal government networks and the operation of its cyber monitoring, detection and response capabilities.

Searching for cyber capability in the public sector

Three federal entities – the Department of Defence, Home Affairs and Services Australia – have launched pilot cyber hubs, which will be tested over the next 12 months.

Now the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has gone to the market for information on the current capabilities of the cybersecurity industry and how companies can assist in the delivery of these hubs.

The DTA said it would “like to understand how the Australian cyber industry could support the cyber hubs concept”, particularly in delivering the 42 core services identified to be delivered by these hubs.

The agency is looking for information about the services that are already available in the private sector and what companies are active in these spaces.

The DTA has also asked for an estimate of how much it would cost to provide the service options as part of the cyber hubs.

The services that the cyber hubs will offer include consuming and analysing threat data from the Australian Cyber Security Centre, producing security reports, providing briefings to senior executives, providing cyber education and awareness, assessing whether entities are complying with the Essential Eight cyber controls and a vulnerability management service.

The request for information will close on 10 December.

The Department of Home Affairs has already gone to the private sector itself for help in establishing and running its pilot cyber hub.

Home Affairs has paid consulting giant Ernst & Young $2.5 million for help on its cyber hub, because the department lacks the “capacity and specialist knowledge” to do this in-house.

Ernst & Young has landed two contracts as part of this work. The first, awarded in February this year, is worth more than $1.5 million for “IT technical services”, while another was awarded in August for just under $1 million.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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