Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

An employee on the phone while his computer screen shows "cyber attack" warning
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today an AU$1.35 billion (US$930 million) investment in cyber security.

The Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response (CESAR) package will work towards enhancing the country’s cybersecurity capabilities over the next ten years. The investment comes at a time when Australia is seeing an increase in the frequency, scale and sophistication of malicious cyber activity.

The CESAR package will include an AU$470 million (US$323 million) investment in the country’s cyber security workforce. This investment will result in the creation of over 500 new jobs in the country.

CESAR will also include an AU$78 million (US$53.6 million) investment in technology that’s able to disrupt and defeat malicious cyber activity along with an AU$200 million (US$137 million) investment focused on enhancing Australia’s understanding of malicious cyber activity as well as how best to identify and respond to emerging cyber threats.

“The Federal Government’s top priority is protecting our nation’s economy, national security and sovereignty. Malicious cyber activity undermines that,” Prime Minister Morrison stated.

“My Government’s record investment in our nation’s cybersecurity will help ensure we have the tools and capabilities we need to fight back and keep Australians safe,” he continued.

The Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds added that such a massive investment in preventing and addressing cyber threats within the country would have a genuine impact on the cyber security of all Australians.

“The package will put our nation on the front foot in combating cyber threats and our investment in a cybersecurity workforce will help ensure we have the people we need to meet future cyber challenges,” Senator Reynolds explained.

The remaining details of what the CESAR package entails will be included in the country’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. This strategy will build on Australia’s $230 million 2016 Cyber Security Strategy as well as its $156 million 2019 cybersecurity election commitment.