Guest column: Cyber spooks needed for Defence centre

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Guest column: Cyber spooks needed for Defence centre

New ops centre patrols the online front line.

A Cyber Security Operations Centre will be the new front line under a Defence whitepaper to provide better situational awareness and the ability to respond to cyber security incidents.

The internet is a vital business tool for Defence, government and businesses in Australia and beyond. Practically all organisations maintain websites, communicate via email and use the internet to do business online.

The Department of Defence is also conducting more operations in this new medium of cyberspace. While cyberspace presents new opportunities for doing business, at the same time it presents opportunities for people and organisations to undertake malicious activities ranging from incidents designed to cause embarrassment, to more serious attacks intended to disrupt or harm Australia's defence capabilities.

This is an exciting new challenge for Defence, and the Defence Signals Directorate is always looking for talented ICT professionals to join us in protecting the front line.

How we protect Defence's information: Creating the Cyber Security Operations Centre

The Cyber Security Operations Centre will be staffed by skilled experts to maximise the Government's ability to detect and rapidly respond to fast-evolving aggressive cyber attacks.

It will do this by drawing on sources in the intelligence, law enforcement and industry to provide a comprehensive picture of threats to Australian information and systems. It will also act as a co-ordination point for responses by government agencies and will work in close collaboration with overseas partners.

The centre will operate 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week with a capability to respond immediately to cyber threats as they are detected.

It will be located in the Defence Signals Directorate, which already has significant cyber-security expertise and is the national authority for information security.

The centre's staff will include Australian Defence Force and Defence Science and Technology personnel.

What about the protection of Australian Government networks?

While the centre will reside in Defence and support ADF operations, it will also have a strong focus on serving broader national security goals. This will include assisting responses to cyber incidents across other government departments and advising on how best to protect critical infrastructure in the private sector.

Whole-of-government co-ordination will be achieved through the representation of relevant government agencies in the centre. This will include the Attorney General's department as the lead agency for e-security policy across government, as well as the Australian Federal Police and other agencies of the Australian intelligence community.

This story was contributed by the Defence Signals Directorate, Department of Defence

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