Australia's Cybersecurity: Time for an Integrated Whole-of-Nation Approach

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Australia's Cybersecurity: Time for an Integrated Whole-of-Nation Approach

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Carolin Weisser

While terrorism and specifically the Islamic State are dominating the national security agenda at the moment, this paper by the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS) contends that cybersecurity is still an important issue for the Australian Government. The issue can be articulated both in terms of the economic costs and personal impacts that cyber threats have on businesses and individuals in Australia, as well as the potential impacts, given current reliance on online social and financial interactions, should Australians lose confidence in the security of online interactions because of cyber threats.

The paper acknowledges that it is impossible for the Australian Government to directly provide cybersecurity capabilities for the entire business and civilian population. However, it asserts that the direct costs, the potential future impact, and the second-order effects of  cyber threats require the Australian Government to play a significant role in promoting cyber security in Australia. It argues that the Australian Government should focus less on enhancing its own operational capabilities and more on supporting broader national activities, and identifies five key areas that should be addressed in a new Australian Government cyber security strategy.

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