Australia Will Spend $230m On Offensive Cyber Security

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce the government's long awaited cyber security strategy today — a brand new four year program to boost Australia's defence against online attacks.

A reported $230 million will be spent on the initiative, which will employ 100 new IT experts to liaise between government and business.

An early but substantially unchanged copy of the report, revealed two weeks ago by IT industry website iTnews, shows the strategy will have five key pillars and will centre around government working more closely with Australia's major technology industry businesses in quickly reporting and responding to quickly evolving online threats.

According to News the program — officially being announced today — will create a capacity to launch pre-emptive attacks on "cyber raiders".

So-called "safe havens" for attackers are to be targeted and shut down before they strike, with plans to work with allied countries a big part of the initiative.

Another focus will be public awareness, the strategy for which is being likened to the "Slip Slop Slap" skin cancer campaign from the '80s. The steps that can be taken to protect those using email will be highlighted, as well as the dangers that come with not taking precautions.

The basics will be covered by the public awareness campaign, including not clicking on strange links, protecting against malware and awareness about what to do in the event of ransomware. A "portal" is also being discussed, which would provide a place for businesses to share threats received, and warn others.

Another big change is within Australia's current cyber security agencies, which are reportedly to be taken out of Canberra and into the cities to facilitate faster and simpler consultations with businesses.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre, previously located within the ASIO building in Canberra, will be moved to its own location that will make it more accessible to businesses.

iTnews also reports that there will be a new ministerial role announced to accompany the agency overhaul, as well as a new cyber ambassador under the purview of the foreign minister Julie Bishop.

There will be more news to come as the announcements take place.

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