New critical infrastructure cyber security compliance and oversight a must

October 10 2017, by David Forman | Category: Government

Proposed new cyber security laws to give the Government powers to direct the owners and operators of critical infrastructure were needed in the face of modern cyber threats to the Australian economy and way of life.

Cyber economic warfare was a daily reality around the world – no longer the stuff of science fiction – and governments, businesses and private citizens had to respond, Macquarie Government managing director Aidan Tudehope said.

“Much of the infrastructure that allows us to operate in our day to day lives – power, communications, water, transport systems – are privately owned, and all are completely dependent on information and communications technologies to work,” he said.

“The Government has for many years required its own departments and agencies to comply with clear standards, guidelines and monitoring arrangements to safeguard against cyber-attacks.

“It is important that the rules and oversight of enterprises operating critical systems, be they privately owned businesses or arm’s length, independently managed government businesses, are lifted closer to those same standards,” he said.

Issues around how to balance national security needs with the rights of businesses to operate freely had been successfully worked though in the telecommunications sector as the Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms laws were developed.

These laws were passed earlier this year, after years of negotiation and development.

“The Attorney-General and the telecommunications industry worked hard to create a model acceptable to all parties.

“With the right spirit of goodwill and collaboration, we should be confident a similar outcome can be achieved for other critical industries,” Mr Tudehope said.

“Together with the obligations and standards around the use of ICT by government departments, the toolkit exists to lift the level of national cyber security without impinging on business operations,” Mr Tudehope said.


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About Macquarie Government

As a part of ASX listed Macquarie Telecom Group (ASX: MAQ), Macquarie Government is Australian specialist in cyber security, secure cloud and data centres solutions. Currently, 42% of Federal Government agencies trust and use Macquarie Government’s services.