The Federal Government has commissioned a white paper to promote cyber security and outline its role in protecting national information assets.
It plans to commence "extensive public consultations" from next month, with a view to complete the white paper in the first half of next year.
Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the white paper would "examine what we need to protect ourselves online".
It would also detail "what the role of the government, industry and the public is in protecting our interests, and what our enduring priorities are in the cyber environment”, he said in Sydney today.
“As part of the white paper we will conduct a public consultation process seeking suggestions on improving our cyber arrangements.”
The white paper will build on the Government’s 2009 cyber security strategy, which outlined the formation of the Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) and the agencies now charged with responding to online threats against Australian interests.
McClelland said Australia was collaborating with the US and the UK “to promote a secure, resilient and trusted cyberspace”.
The UK and US governments have recently focused efforts on building controversial offensive cyber capabilities.
McClelland said cybercrime would cost Australian and UK businesses around 26 billion a year, a figure produced by the UK Government and Detica, a subsidiary of defence contractor BAE systems.
The Attorney-General emphasised the need for the private sector to protect itself from cyber threats.
“There is no replacement for strong cyber security capabilities within each of your organisations … You are responsible for making sure your systems are secure and resilient.”
He invited companies under cyber attack to seek assistance from the Government’s Computer Emergency Response Team, CERT Australia.