Australian government defence report recognises cyber threat

Australia’s 2016 Defence Whitepaper said the IT environment will be shaped by “complex non-geographic threats” over the next 20 years, but provides scant clues as to how it will address those threats.

The long-awaited paper – which commits to raising defence spending to $A42.4bn by 2021, or 2% of projected GDP – acknowledges the threat of computer-based attack, both on industry and directly on the defence force.

The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) identified more than 1,200 cyber security incidents in 2015. While some were against defence industries, there were also attacks launched against banking and finance, communications and transport organisations.

It said a “more capable, agile and potent high technology force” is needed. The report does not elaborate in detail, but does outline the need to strengthen intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, space, electronic warfare and cyber capabilities.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull committed to “a very substantial increased investment in cyber capability”,

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