The government has handed down its federal budget, which includes new measures aimed at enhancing the nation’s cyber resilience along with shoring up Australia’s relationships with its Indo-Pacific partners as part of a significant investment plan for the defence and security portfolio.

Commonwealth Treasurer Jim Chalmers has tabled the government’s 2022-23 federal budget, reporting the federal government’s commitment to $31.3 million to extend the Australian Public Service cyber hubs pilot aimed at bolstering the nation’s cyber resilience, along with the $12.6 million investment to combat scams and online fraud to help protect Australians from cybercrime.

The recent spate of cyber attacks against Australian organisations has highlighted the realities of the threat landscape, according to Crispin Kerr, vice president, ANZ at Proofpoint, noting that the security breaches clearly demonstrated no organisation is immune to the devastating consequences of cyber criminal activity and data loss.

“While cyber risks continue to evolve, one important aspect remains constant — people play the biggest role in cyber security incidents and data breaches.

“As cyber criminals continue to refine their attack methods, leveraging highly effective social engineering threats to target people first and infrastructure last, prioritising cyber security awareness training is essential to protecting Australia on an individual, organisational and government level,” Kerr added.

“While this investment represents a positive step forward, we also encourage further collaboration between governments and enterprises to promote knowledge sharing to inform appropriate cyber regulation and ensure best practice.

“Placing the human element of security front and centre is paramount to the success of these investments and in protecting Australians as the threat landscape continues to evolve,” Kerr said.

The federal government’s investment in boosting national cyber security is timely due to October being cyber security awareness month. New research conducted by Genetec shows that cyber security remains a top concern for physical security professionals going into 2023.

Based on insights from over 3,700 physical security leaders from around the world, the report revealed that almost half (49 per cent) of the organisations surveyed had activated an improved cyber security strategy this year, and more than a third of all respondents (36 per cent) are looking to invest in cybersecurity-related tools to improve their physical security environment in the next 12 months.

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