The Australian government has embarked on a Cyber Security Strategy, acknowledging that it, like four other APAC countries, is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks. Australia, along with New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore have been deemed the Highest Vulnerability Economies in Deloitte’s Asia-Pacific Defense Outlook report.
Australia's Cyber Security Strategy is built on five themes of action, and outlines a $230 million plan to take place over the next four years. Ongoing initiatives to strengthen cyber defenses over the next decade will cost up to $400 million.
The Deloitte report notes that all of Asia has experienced rapid economic development, and strong internet adoption, but identifies the "Cyber Five" as being inordinately vulnerable to cyberattack. Their economies "are the most heavily dependent on internet based interactions".
Australia is not alone in beefing up security legislation, and Asia as a whole will spend more this year on data protection than the global average. According to a report by Grant Thornton, losses due to cyberattacks in 2015 were $81.3 billion for businesses in APAC, as opposed to $62.3 for EU businesses and $61.3 in North America.
The Cyber Security Strategy begins with a Cyber Partnership between the government, businesses, and the research community. It calls for Co-leadership between the government and business leaders to take the lead on co-designed national security initiatives.
The other 4 themes of action are:
- Building stronger cyber defences with added funding and more cyber security experts
- Taking global responsibility and leadership to ensure an open, free and secure internet while fighting attacks
- Enabling growth and innovation through training and jobs, new businesses, and R&D
- Ensuring a cyber smart nation by raising awareness and developing a cyber skilled workforce