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AG praises industry co-operation in protecting critical infrastructure.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

13 April 2005 061/2005

AG PRAISES INDUSTRY COOPERATION IN PROTECTING CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today has paid tribute to industry leaders while highlighting the success of the Government’s cooperative approach to strengthening the protection of critical infrastructure in Australia.

Addressing a meeting of the Critical Infrastructure Advisory Council in Sydney, the Attorney-General outlined the significant achievements made since the devastating September 11 attacks in the United States.

Mr Ruddock marked the second anniversary of the Trusted Information Shared Network (TISN) - a forum to share confidential information across all major industry sectors and government - by launching a secure website.

The website, built by the Defence Signals Directorate, provides TISN members with a secure online area where they can exchange confidential information about security issues.

Industry sectors represented on the TISN include water, health, energy, transport, food chain, IT & communications. It recently was extended to include icons and public gatherings.

Mr Ruddock noted the significant achievements of the TISN in its first two years of operation and congratulated members on their commitment to working together.

“Today we have a fully-functioning, effective network which is producing concrete outcomes as members work to identify and address the vulnerabilities within their sectors,” he said.

He also announced the government’s latest efforts to help strengthen critical infrastructure computer security through the Computer Network Vulnerability Assessment (CNVA) program.

The CNVA program, which is part of the $50.2 million package of critical infrastructure protection initiatives announced in the 2004-05 Budget, provides private sector critical infrastructure owners and operators with dollar-for-dollar funding to test the vulnerability of their computer systems.

Mr Ruddock said he hoped to be in a position to reveal the first successful projects in the near future, indicating the grants would go to companies in the water, and gas and electricity supply sectors.

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“Under the national program, experts will work to identify vulnerabilities in computer systems, examine their network interdependencies and test their abilities to withstand cyber-attack,” Mr Ruddock said.

“I would encourage all critical infrastructure owners and operators to consider participating in the program and submitting applications.

“The lessons we learn from these projects will provide a body of knowledge of computer network vulnerabilities which can be shared among the members of the network to help strengthen our national security.”

Media Contact: Charlie McKillop 0419 278 715