The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has been actively working with energy sector organisations and government agencies to strengthen their resilience to cyber security threats.
In November 2018, the ACSC commenced a nationwide program of cyber security resilience and response activities for Australia’s electricity industry.
Through this program, the ACSC has engaged 100 participants from 50 industry partners and government agencies to build cyber security capability and share best practice in the sector. This engagement includes cyber security incident response and exercise training, information exchange sessions on operational technology systems, and presentations on government cyber security arrangements, red teaming and industry uplift programs.
Head of the ASD’s ACSC, Rachel Noble, said ‘The scale and impact of malicious cyber activity, by those seeking to harm or disrupt Australians, is increasing. This program strengthens cyber resilience and incident response capability in Australia’s electricity sector, an industry on which Australians rely every day.’
‘Importantly, this initiative provides participants with hands-on opportunities to build their resilience to cyber security threats,’ Ms Noble said. ‘It also includes a national cyber security exercise later this year, giving the electricity industry an opportunity to test our cyber resilience together.’
A major program partner is the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), which is responsible for operating Australia’s largest gas and electricity markets and power systems.
Audrey Zibelman, AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said ‘AEMO’s partnership with the ACSC on a nationwide program of cyber events and activities builds on existing initiatives, including developing the Australian Energy Sector Cyber Security Framework.’
‘The framework, providing market participants with useful resources to assess their vulnerabilities and rate capabilities, coupled with this program of targeted events, training and educational materials, is strengthening cyber resilience across the energy sector,’ Ms Zibelman said.
A security analyst from an electricity distributor said one of the program activities gave him ‘good hands on experience with various tools. It has (us) better prepared for real-time scenarios/attacks.’
A senior policy adviser at the Victorian Government Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, said one of the activities provided ‘great insights to organisational change in relation to cyber security.’
Registration to participate in cyber security information exchange and training activities is open throughout 2019 by going to https://cyberasd.govcms.gov.au/acsc/contact.
More information: https://www.cyber.gov.au/news/plug-in-to-the-acsc