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$156 million to protect Australians from online attacks

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Monday 29 April 2019

$156 million to protect Australians from online attacks

A re-elected Morrison Government will invest $156 million to protect older Australians, small businesses and national security assets from the risk of cyber-attacks.

Cybercrime costs the Australian economy more than $1 billion annually, particularly impacting families and small and medium sized businesses.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this funding would keep Australians safe while protecting businesses and the economy.

“As the risk of cyber-attack increases we need to ensure Australians are protected and our defence forces and capabilities continue to get the backing they need,” Mr Morrison said.

“We will continue to take a proactive approach against cyber criminals at home and overseas, including scammers, fraudsters and those involved in child exploitation.”

As part of our $156 million cyber resilience and workforce package, we will;

 Invest $50 million to create a Cyber Security National Workforce Growth Program to create the cyber workforce we will need in the decades to come.  Invest $40 million to establish a Countering Foreign Cyber Criminals capability within the Australian Cyber Security Centre, and drawing on the expertise of the Australian Federal Police to

combat the increasingly sophisticated organised cybercrime gangs.  Invest $26 million to support the Australian Cyber Security Centre to expand its assistance to the community in the fight against malicious cyber criminals and actors.

As part of the Cyber Security National Workforce Growth Program, we will bring together Defence, Home Affairs, industry and academia, under the leadership of the National Cyber Security Adviser to advise the Government on a program that grows the cyber security workforce through initiatives including:

 Scholarships for postgraduate, undergraduate and TAFE studies directly associated with cyber security, with 50 per cent of the scholarships reserved for women.

 Greater investment in cyber security challenges and educational activities that are targeting primary school, high school, and tertiary students, inspiring and training them to take up a career in cyber related fields.

 Development of specialist cyber security related courses, which directly meet the needs of Defence, government and industry.  Building on Questacon’s Engineering is Elementary pilot program to educate teachers about increasing student interest in engineering and other STEM field in a national rollout of the

program, which will train 1,000 primary school teachers from every state and territory around the country.  Development of work experience placements and government/industry exchanges to help develop the practical skills of our national cyber security workforce.

As part of our plan to assist the community in the fight against menace of malicious cyber criminals and actors, we will:

 Develop a comprehensive online cyber security training program providing practical cyber advice for small businesses, older Australians and Australian families.  Expand the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s 24/7 cyber hotline to include a dedicated helpdesk for small and medium sized businesses, older Australians and families to report cyber security

incidents with specially trained staff who can provide tailored technical cyber security advice to prevent and respond to cyber security incidents.

As part of our overall plan to assist the ADF and Defence in particular to grow its cyber warfare workforce, we will invest a further $40 million to:

 Accelerate the creation of 230 positions for military cyber operations specialists in the ADF over the next four years, significantly enhancing existing capabilities.  Build on our highly successful ADF Gap Year Program to create up to 100 new gap year positions each year that are focussed on cyber and information warfare domains to encourage young

Australians, particularly women, to embark on a cyber-related career.  Expand our Australian Government cyber security ‘SPRINT’ teams to work with owners and operators of critical infrastructure to prepare against future cyber threats.

These initiatives build on those the Coalition has already invested in through our Cyber Security Strategy and are aimed at bringing together Defence, government, industry and academia to guide these initiatives.

The Coalition’s $156 million investment will enhance the national cyber security workforce and capability, which will have broader flow-on benefits across the entire economy.

Only a re-elected Coalition Government can be trusted to create a stronger and more secure Australia.

Media contacts: Prime Minister’s office: Press Office, (02) 6277 7744