Protection of Australia in the Cyber Age

Protection of Australia in the Cyber Age

Matthew Warren (Deakin University, Australia) and Shona Leitch (Deakin University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/ijcwt.2011010104
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Australia has developed sophisticated national security policies and physical security agencies to protect against current and future security threats associated with critical infrastructure protection and cyber warfare protection. In this paper, the authors examine some common security risks that face Australia and how government policies and strategies have been developed and changed over time, for example, the proposed Australian Homeland Security department. This paper discusses the different steps that Australia has undertaken in relation to developing national policies to deal with critical infrastructure protection.
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Australia is a modern society and is highly dependent on key critical systems at the national and state level. These key systems have become more dominant as the Information Age has developed. These key systems are grouped together and described as critical infrastructure; this is infrastructure so vital that its incapacity or destruction would have a debilitating impact on defence and national security (Lewis, 2006). Many of these critical systems are based upon ICT (Information and Communication Technology) systems.

Australia takes ICT security very seriously, it has been estimated that Australian organisations spend between A$1.37 – A$1.74 billion per year on IT security, and the total financial losses due to computer-related security incidents in the 2006 financial year have been estimated to be between $595 and $649 million (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2009).

This paper will review the current strategies used by Australia over a decade and evaluate their differences and discuss the reasons for these differences. Future threats such as Cyber Warfare and the steps that are being proposed will be considered. This paper will highlight current Australian best practices in critical infrastructure and cyber warfare protection many of which may be applicable in a European context and provide an informative contrast.

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