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A new approach to cyber security in Australia

Threats to our cyber safety and security are intensifying as cyber criminals target our homes, businesses, phones and computers, infrastructure and community.

Now working from new purpose-built headquarters, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is building on decades of quiet success by Australian agencies.

Officially opened by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the ACSC demonstrates the Australian Government"s commitment to online security in a world where new threats are always emerging.

"We must not and will not wait for a catastrophic cyber incident before we act to prevent future attacks," Mr Turnbull said, flanked by Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, and Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, Angus Taylor.

"Our investment here today is a signal of our intent. There is no room for "set and forget" when it comes to our national security. And as the threats evolve, so must our response," Mr Turnbull said.

"The cyber sphere cannot be a lawless zone. The rule of law must apply there, as it does offline."

From the lounge room to the boardroom

Early warning, prevention and incident response are key for the ACSC"s expert workforce, underpinned by strong collaboration with partners across Government, business and the community.

"Working together to safeguard critical systems, helping to find and fix vulnerabilities, and, ultimately, striving to change behaviour as we grow cyber resilience across the economy is essential," said Alastair MacGibbon, Head of the ACSC.

"We"re increasingly engaging with industry, with small to medium enterprises, with state and territory and local governments, and with the not-for-profit and non-government sector to marshal all of our resources to create a better cyber security environment for all Australians," he said.

The ACSC, part of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), brings together a range of capabilities from across government at its purpose-built Canberra hub, including an engagement zone where people can share knowledge and skills in a trusted environment. This is supported by nodes across the country, including Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide.

"From the lounge room to the boardroom, the ACSC is now implementing the ASD"s new remit that will see it work with people and organisations in the public and private sectors," said Mr MacGibbon.

Investing in the quiet achievers

Harnessing a uniquely skilled team and armed with innovative technology, the ACSC works alongside affected organisations and private sector specialists to respond to significant incidents, and advise organisations on managing consequences and fixing cyber vulnerabilities.

The ACSC has integrated experts from across government including ASIO, AFP, ACIC and Home Affairs.

Working towards a common goal

"The warnings from our agencies on the threat are very stark," said Prime Minister Turnbull.

"We have to strengthen our defences. We must strengthen our cooperation, which is why we're all here."

After years of excellence in supporting and protecting government and critical infrastructure, ACSC"s responsibilities now include helping businesses and the broader community, under new laws passed as part of the Australian Government"s response to the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review.

"The more we work together, the more we collaborate, the better the outcome for everyone," said Minister Taylor.

August 20th, 2018