The Victorian government is set to significantly broaden its cybersecurity priorities to “proactively” assist businesses and individuals to protect themselves and embark on a large-scale uplift program as part of a new five-year strategy.
An update to the state’s first ever cybersecurity strategy covering 2016 to 2020, Victoria’s new plan sets out a four-year timeframe for the investment of more than $50 million in public sector resilience, supporting local businesses and developing the local sector.
“Cybersecurity has never been more important to our economy – it’s why we’re backing our local cyber industry and securing the state’s services with this multi-million dollar investment,” Victorian Government Services Minister Danny Pearson said.
“This strategy refocuses on protecting Victorians’ data and government systems while growing jobs and supporting cyber businesses.”
This year’s state budget allocated $51 million over the next four years for the new cyber strategy, along with $8.5 million for cybersecurity upgrades in the public sector, and extra funding to strengthen cybersecurity in the state’s public health sector.
While the state’s inaugural strategy focused on understanding the risks involved, establishing a baseline capability and responding to cyber incidents, the latest iteration significantly expands the state government’s focus to actively work with the public and private sectors to improve security, and to grow the cybersecurity industry.
The strategy will help to promote Victoria as a “leading jurisdiction for people wanting to develop a career in the cyber sector”, it said.
“We can accelerate Victoria business’ transition to move more services online, removing barriers for government to adopt new digital technologies, and facilitating partnerships with academic and research institutions that drive local innovation,” the strategy said.
The strategy outlines the state government’s three core cybersecurity missions: the safe and reliable delivery of government services, a cyber-safe place to work, live and learn and a vibrant cyber economy.
But much of the detail on how these things will be achieved, and how the $50 million in funding will be spent, will be left to annual Mission Delivery Plans to be released by Victorian chief information security officer John O’Driscoll.
Mr O’Driscoll will also be tasked with publishing annual reports on the progress of these activities.
While warning of the “constant threat of cyber attack” for governments and businesses, the strategy also emphasises the opportunities associated with this to grow the state’s cybersecurity industry.
“Victoria’s world-class tech ecosystem will help us meet this challenge head on. We are focused on accelerating our cybersecurity capability to meet growing demand for services and expertise,” Victorian Innovation Minister Jaala Pulford said.
As part of the strategy, the state government will aim to develop strategic partnerships to grow dynamic and competitive cybersecurity businesses and talent.
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