Symantec has released a report claiming that only half of Australia’s critical infrastructure providers (CIPs) were prepared to cooperate with Federal Government agencies charged with improving their security.
Slightly more than half of the 150 respondents polled by phone in the Critical Infrastructure Protection Survey said they would work with the government CIP programs.
About a dozen CIP programs are run from the Department of Defence, the Attorney General’s Department and The Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
Multiple independent SC sources within the CIP industry have complained the government agencies do not offer new information and have not helped improve their organisation’s security posture.
Their comments appeared to be supported by the survey which found a previously high “level of engagement, threat and readiness among critical infrastructure providers” had this year fallen.
“The results of these indices told us critical infrastructure providers are less engaged with their government’s CIP programs, less concerned about the threats and less ready than 12 months ago,” the report read.
It said companies were less aware this year of government CIP programs (36 per cent were aware, down from 55 per cent) and were less engaged in the programs (37 per cent down from 56 per cent last year).
Fourteen per cent of companies claimed to be engaged with critical infrastructure plans for between one to two years.
Symantec said Australian companies were more ambivalent about government CIP programs this year than in 2010 with more reporting a neutral or no opinion about the schemes.
Australian managing director Craig Scroggie said the government needs to better educate and promote its services and partner with local industry.
Most Western nations have had CIP programs operating for many years longer than Australia’s two-year old schemes.
But Symantec’s director of government relations and public affairs, Ilias Chantzos, said the nature of the schemes meant the foreign schemes could not be retrofitted to work in Australia.