Australia runs cybersecurity health check on all gov websites and infrastructure

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The Australian government has initiated rigorous security measures to safeguard its IT infrastructure from state-sponsored cyber-attacks. As part of this initiative, the Australian Signals Directorate has conducted two cyber security threat hunts on government networks since December of last year, with plans to continue these efforts in the coming months.

This action comes in response to an announcement by Defense Minister Richard Marles, indicating a growing interest from state-funded actors in Australian Critical Infrastructure. The motives behind such interest range from intelligence gathering to disrupting operations and creating chaos.

To address these threats, all small businesses will now receive a free cyber health checkup at least once a month, with a plan to increase the frequency to a fortnight in the coming months. Moreover, the funding allocated in the annual budget to strengthen cybersecurity will be augmented to protect both private and public entities from various malware attacks. Companies will also be mandated to report ransomware attacks within a specified time frame of 4-5 days.

Given the continuous cyber assaults on the telecom sector, exemplified by the recent Optus cyber-attack, a specialized cybersecurity workforce will be deployed to monitor the infrastructure of such companies. This measure is set to take effect early next year.

The Anthony Albanese-led nation has been confronting severe cyber threats, particularly since expressing support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Despite facing digital attacks from Russia, the Albanese government has reaffirmed its commitment to justice and support for Kyiv, extending its protective measures to secure companies operating within the nation. This commitment aims to thwart potential efforts by Russia to influence Australia’s stance, whether to deter financial support to Ukraine or coerce support for the Russian Federation. The government has also instilled trust in its populace by enhancing security measures for companies, with plans for continued efforts in the near future.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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