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CISO Perth 

Can Digital Government Function Without Trust?

There is an ambitious call for sweeping digital transformation across Australian Government functions, which aims to provide all Australians the ability to deal with government anywhere, anytime, on any device, for every service.

While this progress is welcome, government digital services must continue to improve to keep up with the service experience that is increasingly commonplace in the private sector.

Additionally, to ensure the success of digital initiatives, service providers should assure their users of security when using their services. This security might cover a mix of concerns, including ownership and control of data, privacy, fast and convenient services, and broad accessibility.

In this report, Australian public sector information security leaders discuss the importance of trusted digital services. They share their insights on how security and trust can be built into digital government, as well as the challenges that agencies can face as this digital shift occurs.

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New Report Highlights Prevalence of Cybercrime in Australia

Defence Minister reveals a “heightened level of malicious cyber activity” that is impacting too many Australians

The Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre has released its latest Annual Cyber Threat report, covering July 2021 to June 2022, featuring a swathe of metrics and data points about the current cyber threat landscape in Australia and how the centre is responding.  

Defence Minister Richard Marles opened the report with a foreword highlighting a “heightened level of malicious cyber activity” that was regrettably impacting too many Australians.

“We are currently witnessing deteriorating strategic circumstances in our region and globally, including a military build-up unseen since World War II, and expanding cyber and grey zone capabilities are of particular concern. In this environment, the work performed by ASD and its ACSC is more important than ever,” he wrote

“…Reporting cybercrime is vital for us to build a threat picture that can prevent others from falling victim to the ransomware syndicates and cybercriminals. The best cyber defence is informed by the best intelligence.”

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Measuring DevSecOps Effectiveness, Australia

The DevSecOps Shift Has Arrived

The way applications are developed, deployed, accessed and used has changed.

Infrastructures that were once contained and relatively straightforward to encircle with security measures have become complex and multi-cloud. Applications are now operationalised in tandem with their development, live online and are updated regularly and rapidly. Just as development has been modernised with DevOps practices, securing applications is undergoing a similar shift to become DevSecOps, with security decisions and processes now embedded into the development cycle.

This report examines the processes and best practices currently being used to evaluate the effectiveness of DevSecOps practices. Through insights gathered from cybersecurity leaders within organisations using DevSecOps approaches, we discuss how security leaders measure these programs and what considerations other CISOs and cyber leaders should make to improve security in DevOps.

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Will Tougher Penalties Force Australian Companies to Harden Security?

Australia proposes harsher penalties for data breaches in wake of high-profile incidents

The Australian Government is proposing laws to increase penalties for serious data breaches, which could see companies that fail to protect customer data hit with fines of $50 million or more. 

In the wake of breach disclosures from Optus and Medibank, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus announced a new bill that was introduced to parliament at the end of October. The bill passed the lower house in early November and proceeds to the Senate. A senate inquiry is expected to next report on November 22.

The Privacy Legislation Amendment will increase maximum penalties that can be applied under the Privacy Act for serious or repeated privacy breaches. 

The Attorney-General’s statement noted the penalties would go up from the current $2.22 million penalty to whichever is the greater of $50 million; or three times the value of any benefit obtained through the misuse of information; or 30% of a company’s adjusted turnover in the relevant period. 

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