NSW govt fronts up $20m to plug cyber security gaps

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NSW govt fronts up $20m to plug cyber security gaps

Following poor audit performance.

The NSW government has set aside $20 million in the state’s 2018 budget to plug cyber security gaps across the public sector, after weak detection and response practices were identified across agencies.

The funding, provided to the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI), will be used for “managing the government’s preparedness for and response to cyber security issues across all agencies” over the next four years.

However, it will be used by the whole-of-government cyber security function - headed by chief information security officer Maria Milosavljevic - to implement frameworks and structures required to better coordinate and improve readiness, instead of hardening systems.

It builds on an initial investment of $6.8 million in last year’s budget to get the office up and running, as well as begin growing the new statewide cyber security capability.

The funding follows calls by the state’s auditor-general for the NSW public sector to “significantly and quickly” introduce stronger practices to improve its detection and response capabilities. 

The auditor found that cyber security practices to detect and respond to cyber security incidents were lacking at the majority of government agencies.

It found instances of “poor detection and response practices and procedures” across the board, with only two of the ten unnamed agencies audited found to have good detection and response processes.

The auditor also found the absence of a “whole-of-government capability to detect and respond effectively to cyber security incidents”, while some agencies were failing to report incidents to DFSI.

Digital licences

DFSI was also today handed $9.3 million for its digital driver's licence rollout, following the passage of legislation last month.

The government is planning to make digital driver's licences and digital photo cards available to citizens across the state by the end of 2019.

The new funding will be used to develop and provide the digital driver's licence and digital photo card to citizens across NSW.

Just over $8 million was handed to the Dubbo trial of digital driver's licences in last year’s budget.

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