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Australia's Largest Ever Cyber Security Spend: $10bn Pledge to Double ASD & Ramp Up Offensive Cyber Operations

Australia is pledging to double its electronic spy agency and ramp up its offensive cyber operations with a budget of $10bn. The investment will see the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) grow from its current size of 1,500 staff to 3,000 in the next 10 years. This is part of Australia's largest ever cyber security spend, which will also see an increase in funding for Cyber Security Operations Centres and initiatives to protect critical infrastructure. The ASD is responsible for collecting foreign intelligence, conducting cyber operations and protecting Australia's computer networks. Under the package, the ASD is expected to create opportunities for data analysts, computer programmers and software engineers in its workforce. This investment in Cyber Security comes at a time when Australians are increasingly reliant on technology and the internet. It also follows a number of high-profile Cyber Security incidents, including the 2016 Census hack and the WannaCry ransomware attack. Cyber security is a top priority for the Australian Government and this budget investment will ensure that we have the capability to protect our critical infrastructure and defend against cyber threats. This budget has been positively received for many in the Cyber Security industry who have been calling for increased investment in Cyber Security initiatives. In his address last Tuesday the National Treasurer, Scott Morrison, said the budget was "about making Australia's economy and our society more secure in the face of an increasingly complex and contested cyberspace". The Cyber Security package is a welcome investment in the safety of Australians and the protection of our critical infrastructure. It is a necessary step in ensuring that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of technology while keeping our data and systems safe from Cyber Security threats.