Australian Government Cybersecurity

March 29 2023, by James Rabey | Category: Government

Australian government agencies are required to meet a range of cybersecurity frameworks and strategies to ensure the protection of government information and systems. These are set out by the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and are mandatory for many government agencies, depending on the type of information they are entrusted with.

Comprehensive security measures for Australian Government Agencies.

The Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) sets out the Australian Government’s policies and standards for security. The PSPF covers a range of security areas, including personnel security, physical security, information security, and governance. Under the PSPF, all non-corporate Commonwealth entities must report to their portfolio minister and the Attorney-General’s Department each financial year on security.

A related framework to the PSPF is Information Security Manual (ISM), which provides guidance on how to protect classified government information and systems. The ISM covers a range of security measures, including physical security, access controls, cryptography, network security, and incident response.

Agencies – specifically Non Corporate Commonwealth Entities (NCCEs) – are required to implement the Essential Eight to Maturity Level 2. The Essential 8 is a set of mitigation strategies designed to prevent cyber attacks. These strategies include application whitelisting, patching applications and operating systems, restricting administrative privileges, using multi-factor authentication, and backing up data. The Essential Eight also includes measures to block malware and ransomware, and to restrict the use of web browsers to only trusted sites.

Another important requirement is for agencies to report cyber security incidents to the ACSC. This includes any actual or suspected cyber security incidents that affect government information or systems. Reporting incidents allows the ACSC to provide advice and support to affected agencies, as well as to share threat intelligence with other agencies.

In addition to these requirements, agencies must also comply with a range of other legislation and policies. This includes the Privacy Act 1988, which governs how agencies collect, use, and disclose personal information, and the Freedom of Information Act 1982, which provides for public access to government information.

Ensuring cyber security posture for agencies.

To ensure compliance with these requirements, agencies are subject to regular security assessments by the ACSC. These assessments are designed to identify areas where agencies need to improve their security posture and to provide guidance on how to address any issues.

Overall, the cybersecurity requirements for Australian government agencies are designed to ensure the protection of government information and systems. By implementing the Essential Eight, the ISM and PSPF, reporting incidents to the ACSC, and complying with other relevant legislation and policies, agencies can help to reduce the risk of cyber attacks and protect sensitive information from being compromised.


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