Australia must outline ‘clear consequences’ for cyber attacks: panel

An industry panel’s 60 recommendations will guide looming overhaul of the government’s Cyber Security Strategy for the post-COVID era.

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Plagued by increasing online threats and blurring of the lines between cyber security and warfare, Australia’s cyber security industry has welcomed the final report of an industry advisory panel whose 60 recommendations will inform the government’s long-awaited Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

Chaired by Telstra CEO and managing director Andrew Penn—and comprising six industry experts including former US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen—the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) has been working through the 215 submissions made during the public review of the Cyber Security Strategy that Australia last updated in 2016.

The key Australia cyber security recommendations

With 60 recommendations contained within the IAP final report, the government has its plate full as it winnows down a mountain of input into a coherent strategy that can be backed by resources that have become scarcer—particularly with the government contemporaneously announcing that the COVID-19 pandemic has put the Australian government in its worst financial position since World War II.

Among its recommendations, the report calls for “clear consequences” for people targeting Australian businesses and citizens online, with greater powers for the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) to “disrupt cyber criminals by targeting the proceeds of cyber crime”.

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