The Australian federal government is at the forefront of enhancing the nation’s cyber advisory and security posture, engaging in comprehensive consultations for an ambitious set of reforms. These initiatives aim to bring to life pivotal elements of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy for 2023-2030, introducing for the first time, dedicated cyber security legislation in Australia, marking a significant milestone in Cyber Security Reforms Australia.

Key Proposals Overview:

With the Department of Home Affairs spearheading consultations since late December 2023, the focus is on nine strategic elements of the Cyber Security Strategy 2023-2030, targeting a robust enhancement of Cyber Security Legislation and Cyber Risk Management.

These proposals are strategically divided, focusing on:

  1. Introduction of New Cyber Security Legislation:
    • Establishing secure-by-design standards for IoT devices, enhancing Cyber Resilience Strategies.
    • Introducing a comprehensive Ransomware Reporting Framework, encouraging transparent reporting of cyber incidents.
    • Setting a limited use policy for information shared during critical cyber incidents, a key aspect of Cyber Incident Reporting.
  2. Amendments to the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (SOCI Act):
    • Expanding the definition of ‘asset’ to include data storage systems, addressing Cyber Risk Management.
    • Empowering new ministerial directives post-critical incidents, a crucial part of Security of Critical Infrastructure Act adjustments.

Feedback and Focus Areas:

The ongoing dialogues with the government underscore the importance of Cyber Advisory in ensuring that the reforms not only enhance Cyber Resilience Strategies but also avoid imposing undue burdens. The proposed ransomware reporting regime and limited use policy reflect a nuanced approach to Cyber Security Governance, aiming for clarity and effectiveness in response strategies.

Director Guidance on Cyber Security Obligations:

A new publication highlights the critical Cyber Security Governance obligations, aligning with the Cyber Security Strategy 2023-2030 to guide corporate leaders through the evolving cyber landscape (available here).