WA government commits $25.5m to bolster cybersecurity

Brandon How

The Western Australian government has committed $25.5 million to expand its cyber security services by hiring more staff, with the funding used to transform the Cyber Security Unit at the Office of Digital Government into the largest dedicated cyber security team in the state.

Currently there are 11 positions open for cyber security analysts, specialists, and testers at the Cyber Security Unit with applications for the roles set to close on April 11.

The WA government has committed $25.5 million to improve its cybersecurity services

Positions are also available for a threat hunting and critical incident response manager and a manager for the cyber security uplift team. The former will focus on proactively identifying risks posed to agencies and assisting when they suffer a breach, while the latter is concerned with improving the agencies’ defence systems.

Successful applicants will work in the whole-of-government Cyber Security Operations Centre or another public sector agency.

The additional funding comes out of the state’s $500 million Digital Capability Fund. During the mid-year review of the state budget last December, it was revealed that almost $277 million of the fund had already been committed for the 2021-25 period.

Western Australia’s (WA) Minister for Innovation and ICT Stephen Dawson said the funding would help ensure Western Australians can go online safely.

“Cyber threats continue to evolve, and so by investing in our world-class Cyber Security Operations Centre, Western Australians can be assured important Government services they access will continue to be safe and their information will remain secure,” Minister Dawson said.

“The Office of Digital Government is leading and coordinating digital transformation across government to improve service delivery for all Western Australians. I encourage all qualified cyber security individuals to apply for these important roles within the State Government.”

“The expansion of cyber services across the Public Sector will generate local jobs and entry-level opportunities for Western Australians looking to get into cyber security sector.”

The WA government released its first five-year digital strategy road map in February 2022, which highlighted the expected timeline of some of the projects funded under the Digital Capaibilty Fund. This includes an expectation that by the end of the second quarter of 2022, at least 30 government agencies will be connected to the Cyber Security Operations Centre.

The Cyber Security Unit was established in 2018 leads the state government’s cyber security initiatives. In particular, the unit is responsible for implementing the state’s Cyber Security Policy launched in 2021.

Included in the policy minimum security measures that all state government agencies must adopt. This also requires agencies to develop an Annual Implementation Report on the extent to which it has complied with the policy.

In early 2022, they are expected to report on the Essential Eight cyber security controls outlined by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, password filtering, and additional recommended measures depending on the risk profile of the agency.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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