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Protecting critical infrastructure in Melbourne.



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL THE HON PHILIP RUDDOCK MP

NEWS RELEASE

14 July 2005 129/2005

PROTECTING CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN MELBOURNE

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today announced the Australian Government will provide co-funding to Yarra Valley Water to conduct assessments of their computer network systems under the $8 million Computer Network Vulnerability Assessment (CNVA) programme.

“This funding agreement is another milestone in the cooperation between industry and government to protect Australia’s critical infrastructure,” Mr Ruddock said.

Under the CNVA programme, critical infrastructure owners and operators can apply for up to half of the total cost of bringing in experts to undertake assessments of their computer networks.

Yarra Valley Water joined together with Brisbane in Victoria to undertake the assessment of their computer networks at a cost of around $120,000 - 50 per cent of which will be funded by the Australian Government.

The assessment will focus on the security of their Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. SCADA systems are used for remote monitoring and control in the delivery of essential services such as water, electricity and gas.

“The CNVA programme will help companies secure their key computer systems by assessing and testing their ability to resist exploitation or attack,” Mr Ruddock said.

“It is not just about finding vulnerabilities in computer networks - it is also about reassuring companies that their current security measures are working effectively.”

The CNVA programme supports the Government’s Trusted Information Sharing Network for Critical Infrastructure Protection (TISN). The TISN is a forum in which the owners and operators of critical infrastructure work together to share information on security issues which affect critical infrastructure.

“We hope the lessons learnt as part of this programme will create a body of knowledge about computer network security that will benefit all owners and operators of critical infrastructure,” Mr Ruddock said.

Critical infrastructure comprises those physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies and communication networks that, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, would significantly impact on the social or economic well-being of the nation or affect Australia's ability to conduct national defence and ensure national security.

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 • Telephone (02) 6277 7300 • Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.law.gov.au/ag

Media Contact: Charlie McKillop 0419 278 715