New Defence security guide to boost industry security

Thursday, 25 February, 2021

New Defence security guide to boost industry security

The Australian Government, in collaboration with the Australian defence industry, has developed a ‘go-to’ guide for small businesses on how to improve their security practices to help them win Defence work. The Working Securely with Defence guide will help industry overcome issues to become ‘Defence-ready’, supporting the government’s $270 billion investment in Defence capability over the next decade.

About 40% of businesses that apply to win Defence work have insufficient cybersecurity measures to meet Defence’s standards. The percentage of businesses missing out on Defence work due to insufficient security measures has also prompted Defence to focus on providing support to applicants to improve their cybersecurity.

The Defence guide was jointly developed by Defence, AiGroup, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Security Intelligence organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) over the past 12 months.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the guide was developed by industry for industry, to help businesses understand what they need to do to improve their security practices. Minister Price added that the guide also provides direction and support to current and prospective defence industry and supply chain providers on how to understand their security obligations and improve their security practices when delivering Defence capability.

“The development of this guide has been a genuine team effort, drawing on deep expertise and connections across government, Defence, Australian defence industry and industry associations,” Minister Price said.

Over the past year, Defence has helped more than 600 companies improve their security through the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP), which helps Australian businesses understand and meet their security obligations when engaging in Defence projects, contracts and tenders. Defence currently has more than 230 companies in the program.

Minister Price said the Defence guide complements her ‘five pillars’ approach to supporting Australian businesses by improving the way Defence communicates and does business with industry in relation to its security obligations.

“I am making sure Defence works with our industry partners, especially when it comes to cybersecurity, so that businesses can be ready and more experienced as we come back from COVID-19,” Minister Price said.

The need to make more businesses ‘Defence-ready’ is underscored by the Australian Government’s commitment of $15 billion to cyber and information warfare capabilities over the coming decade. About $1.35 billion will be committed to combatting malicious cyber activity, including $31 million to enhance the ability of ASD to disrupt cybercrime offshore and $35 million to deliver an enhanced cyber threat-sharing platform.

Another $12 million will go towards new strategic mitigations and active disruption options, and $118 million will contribute to expanding ASD’s data science and intelligence capabilities.

Australian Industry Group National President Chris Jenkins said the guide brings together a wealth of relevant information to assist the Defence industry and help build the security culture, compliance and resilience of the sector.

“This is so important to the strategic priorities of Australia, ensuring that both industry and Defence are working on the same page. We would especially like to thank all those involved, including the Ai Group Defence Council members, who shared their time, knowledge, expertise, experience and insights in contributing to the development of this guide,” Jenkins said.

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