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Big Cybersecurity Spending In South Australia’s Budget

The South Australian government will include big spending on cybersecurity in this month’s state budget.

ADELAIDE, Australia — The South Australian government will allocate more than AU$20 million ($15.5 million) in the state budget to bolster cybersecurity defenses.

The AU$20.63 million ($15.9 million) over three years will be used to improve cybersecurity measures across all the government’s systems and processes and to also help local companies become more resilient.

The South Australian Cyber Security Framework (SACSF) is a cabinet-approved, whole of government approach designed to ensure cybersecurity is adequately managed in each agency while also ensuring there is adequate flexibility in the way each organization specifically addresses the policies.

The framework makes sure cybersecurity risks are managed in an acceptable way, reassures the public and other interested parties that the information in the government’s care is properly protected, maintains the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets as per the policy legal and regulatory requirements.

It also maintains the reputation of the individual agencies and the broader South Australian Government, helps make cyber risk management part of an agency’s existing risk management framework. Further, it demonstrates alignment to internationally recognized good practices in cyber risk management.

The South Australian Cyber Security Strategic Plan 2018-2021 seeks to safeguard state infrastructure, digital assets, and citizen information against the increasing incidence of cybercrime and espionage.

The plan’s activities are structured within three strategic themes, which include the role of government in providing sound governance and clear accountabilities for a whole government approach to cybersecurity.

It further focuses on the approach to the prevention of, detection of, response to, and recovery from cybersecurity threats and incidents. Apart from that, it has a collaborative approach that brings together all levels of government with academia and the private sector to cybersecurity.

The South Australian government will allocate more than $20 million in the budget for cybersecurity.
The South Australian government will allocate more than $20 million in the budget for cybersecurity. (AAP Image)

However, as cyber-attacks are increasing rapidly, the South Australian government will focus more on cybersecurity defenses in the upcoming budget.

“With cyber-attacks becoming more and more prevalent within government and businesses across the state, it’s absolutely imperative that the government lead by example in this key area,” Premier Steven Marshall said.

“The South Australian government responds to hundreds of cybersecurity incidents each year, with more than 1600 reported in 2020 alone, which is why this investment is so critical.”

“In the last few months, we’ve seen media networks, universities, and key businesses fall victim to sophisticated and targeted cyber-attacks proving just how important this issue is.”

Chairman of the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre, Kim Scott is seen with South Australian Premier Steven Marshall during the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre launch in Adelaide. (David Mariuz/AAP Image)

The premier said South Australian consumers and businesses would also benefit from AU$4.3 million ($3.3 million) in extra funding for upgrades to the government’s online services portal, including increased cybersecurity features and implementation of a whole-of-government payment gateway.

“Importantly, this initiative will provide a single-entry point for people and businesses to interact with the government,” he said on June 7.

The Liberal government will hand down the 2021/22 budget on June 22.

(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Pallavi Mehra. Map by Urvashi Makwana)