The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) Partnership Program is increasingly bringing industry, academia, law enforcement and Federal and State government agencies together in collaborative workspaces, enabling information-sharing and network-hardening across the economy. This is being enabled through the network of Joint Cyber Security Centres (JCSCs), located in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Cybercrime is on the rise, costing Australians up to $1 billion annually. The overall goal of the ACSC partnership program is to strengthen the cyber resilience of Australian institutions and private sector organisations – small and large.
What do the JCSCs do?
The partnership program is run by the ACSC as part of the Australian Government Cyber Security Strategy. The strategy has been implemented to ensure Australian governments – state, territory and federal – and institutions, businesses and organisations can take full advantage of current and future digital technologies.
This year, the Centres are deepening their relationships with partners while continuing to provide support for a broad range of Australian organisations through training and exercises, planned keynote events and information sharing sessions.
‘We provide a central hub for cyber security staff from organisations of all different sizes and backgrounds to come together across the country and share their knowledge, insights and experience,’ said David George, Head of ACSC’s National Collaboration Program, which includes the JCSCs.
‘We continue to expand and deepen our sharing of insight in an ever-changing cyber threat environment.‘
Already in 2019, the Centres have hosted a series of events to share information on critical cyber threats and offer advice to help prevent Australian businesses from falling victim to cybercrime. These events are usually video-conferenced throughout the JCSC network, with ACSC partners unable to attend their local Centre, often participating remotely via video-conferencing. The diverse events held so far this year include:
Cyber security expert and Microsoft Regional Director Troy Hunt of haveibeenpwned.com providing insights on the causes and consequences of data breaches
Insurance Australia Group (IAG) presenting on the benefits of modelling the cost of a data breach, helping to evaluate cyber risks in dollar terms
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service providing an overview of the ongoing consequences of a data breach, more than two years after the event had occurred
A targeted session for members of the Victorian Small Business Mentoring Service providing up to date information on current threats targeting SMEs – presenters included representatives from the Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and consultancy ITSafe. The network of SBMS mentors operates throughout Victoria and is ideally placed to raise cyber security awareness and provide advice about current cyber threats.
A workshop aimed at enhancing and more effectively coordinating responses to Business Email Compromises (BECs) involving Federal and State law enforcement agencies throughout the country.
In partnership with Federation University Australia, Jon Oliver of Trend Micro presented a ‘Malware and Reverse Engineering Taster’ session, including sharing current trends in malicious spam. This session was supplemented by FUA senior researchers presenting on the outcomes of their analysis of discrete cyber security topics.
What is an ACSC partner?
Organisations become ACSC partners by signing a confidentiality agreement that creates a trusted environment for sharing of information. Increasingly, the JCSCs are reaching out beyond critical infrastructure and big business to academia, and Australia’s small to medium enterprises, who are also facing cyber security challenges.
The JCSCs provide a means for businesses and other stakeholders to access expertise from both ACSC and the broader cyber ecosystem that will help them prevent and recover from cyber security incidents.
Organisations who become ACSC partners can access timely alerts and advisories, rapidly share insights, and increasingly work together to solve common challenges.
Through the JCSC program, the ACSC is driving collaboration around cyber security risks and issues. ’We offer an important value proposition – our unique vantage point enables us to identify good practice in one sector, and then help propagate it across all sectors,’ said Mr George.
ACSC partners can meet and collaborate face to face at events hosted by the centres, including talks, workshops, and presentations on cyber security, such as those hosted just last month.
‘The JCSCs provide a hub for business to collaborate on cyber security issues – as we mature the program, we will increasingly work with partners to co-design solutions to common challenges,’ Mr George added.
‘We are proud to be fulfilling our role ensuring that Australian organisations are well informed, and can collaborate to grow our collective cyber resilience.’