NSW's first CISO gets $7m to set up office

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NSW's first CISO gets $7m to set up office

Building capability with less.

The NSW government’s first-ever chief information security officer Maria Milosavljevic has been given $6.8 million in the state's cashed-up budget to get her office up and running over the next year.

Finance minister Victor Dominello told an Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) briefing today that the investment would help boost the state's cyber security capability.

Specifically, $1 million per year from his agency's wallet would go towards establishing "key roles and capabilities", like Milosavljevic's CISO position.

Around $2 million annually will be spent developing and growing the state's new whole-of-government cyber security capability.

And $3.8 million each year for the next three years will fund a joint agreement between Finance, the state Industry department, and Data61, giving NSW “access to world leading cyber security data science".

Milosavljevic began looking after the state’s infosec footprint, particularly its vast data stores, in March when she moved from the national financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC.

She is responsible for driving a “step change” in cyber security capability across the NSW public sector, while co-ordinating responses and recovery efforts within agencies, and providing strategic advice on resiliency to threats.

One of Milosavljevic’s first tasks in office will be to develop a set of standards for cyber security across government.

While the cyber security funding, which isn't specified in budget papers, is somewhat less than what has been allocated to other technology projects, Dominello said ensuring the right leadership was in place was more important than the amount of money spent.

The minister also pointed to the need to partner with federal government to leverage their specialist cyber security capabilities. 

“They've got the biggest role on cyber security for obvious reasons. If we can leverage off them, then we improve our systems," he said.

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