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WA Govt invests $500k into dedicated cybersecurity team for public sector

21 Jun 18

Western Australia’s McGowan Government is investing more than $500,000 into the creation of a dedicated cybersecurity team as part of its mission to improve public sector cybersecurity.

The team will work under the $7.4 million Office of Digital Government, which will launch on the first of July.

The Office will operate within the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), and will be responsible for driving the public sector’s digital capabilities.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly says the McGowan government recognises cyber threats.

"Creating this office within DPC ensures that digital capabilities are embedded within the McGowan Government's public sector renewal program, and are better co-ordinated and implemented.”

The dedicated cybersecurity team will develop whole-of-government cybersecurity initiatives.

The Government will also establish a Cyber Security Reference Group that comprises representatives from nine public sector agencies. They will support development of a whole-of-government approach to cybersecurity.

Edith Cowan University will collaborate on projects with the Government that improve the security of WA’s public sector.

According to The Auditor General's 2017 Information Systems Audit report, information security and business continuity have shown no improvement in the last nine years, and that only seven out of the 46 agencies audited met expectations for managing their computer environments effectively.

"As the business of modern government becomes increasingly driven by technology and data, government must be prepared for the growing threat of cyber attacks,” Kelly says.

"That is why the McGowan Government is committed to developing and strengthening the resilience of public sector services and information from cyber attack,” he continues.

The McGowan Government is also implementation recommendations from the Service Priority Review, which found that the Government needs to strengthen cybersecurity, ICT performance and data sharing, and increase online service delivery.

"These initiatives build on action already taken since March 2017, including a revised whole-of-government Digital Security Policy; cybersecurity briefings for directors general and CEOs; and a $5.6 million investment in the national Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, headquartered at ECU Joondalup,” Kelly concludes.

A summary of the The McGowan Government's new approach to cybersecurity:

- $7.4 million in funding for the new Office of Digital Government;
- More than $500,000 for a new cybersecurity team, who will develop whole-of-government cybersecurity initiatives;
- The establishment of a Cyber Security Reference Group, comprising of representatives from nine public sector agencies, to support development of a whole-of-government approach to cybersecurity; and
- A partnership with Edith Cowan University, a globally recognised cybersecurity institution, to collaborate on projects that improve the security of the WA public sector.