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The Australian government has set aside $230 million in a new cybercrime strategy with a five-pronged plan of action.
The strategy proposes a range of new measures designed to tackle costly cybercrime incidents including ransomware, “hacktivism”, DDoS attacks and data theft through cyberespionage.
According to the report, cybercrime is estimated to cost Australians over $1 billion each year, although it’s suggested that the real impact could be as high as $17 billion.
This higher figure is based on estimates that cybercrime costs economies around 1% of GDP per year.
In an attempt to reduce this figure, the government has identified five themes of action to be taken over the next four years.
These actions include the strengthening of cyber defences, investment in cybersecurity innovation, and the creation of global partnerships to shut down safe havens for cybercriminals.
According to the Guardian’s report, the government is expected to hire over 100 cybersecurity experts across its agencies.
A further $20.4 million will be allocated to the federal police, and $16 million to the crime commission going towards threat detection, technical analysis and forensic assessment.
“This new structure will ensure cybersecurity is given the attention it demands in an age where cyber opportunities and threats must be considered together and must be addressed proactively, not simply as a reaction to the inevitability of future cyber events,” Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said in the strategy’s foreword.
Not everyone, however, is behind the new plans, which are said to have been drawn from a classified Cyber Security Review led by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Speaking to The Australian, independent senator Nick Xenophon called for more transparency over the findings of the review.
“What the government is effectively saying is that there’s a serious problem but we are not going to tell you how bad it’s been to date, and that is not good enough,” Mr Xenophon said.
“How can we work out how much it will cost to fix up the problem if the government won’t disclose how bad the problem is?”
To read Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy in full, visit the government’s dedicated website.
Author Narinder Purba, We Live Security