The Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne launched the 2019 progress report of Australia’s International Cyber Engagement Strategy.
In her address to the Lowy Institute in Sydney in March, the Minister provided a stocktake of Australia’s international cyber engagement since 2017 and outlined future plans, including announcing a further $10 million commitment to the Cyber Cooperation Program, increasing total investment in cyber capacity building to over $48 million.
She said no one single piece of infrastructure is more important to our future and the country’s prosperity and freedom than the internet.
“It touches every part of our lives. It affects the way we work, the way we communicate with each other, how we express ourselves, how we run our homes, how we entertain ourselves and it supports our democratic freedoms.
“We all know that the rapid development of new technologies and increasingly universal access is delivering vast opportunities for both economic and social development.
“However, as our dependence on global networks grows, potential risks, our vulnerabilities also increase,” said Payne in her address to the Lowy Institute.
The federal government launched the National Cyber Security Strategy to further develop its approach to these critical issues as individuals, businesses and government.
“While there was a focus on increasing our domestic resilience, the strategy also included a number of initiatives to help ensure that Australia had a strong and effective voice on these issues on the world stage,” said Payne.
She said it is critically important for Australia to have a robust cyber security posture at home.
“Not only to defend our citizens and business and institutions from cyber threats and interference, but to ensure we have a credible and effective voice on the world stage.
“The first step towards effective international advocacy on these issues was to clearly articulate our own perspective. So we launched Australia’s international cyber engagement strategy in 2017 – one of the first of its kind in the world,” said Payne.
The strategy addresses a broad range of digital issues but at its heart, it is simple. It sets out how Australia will advocate for and defend an open, free and secure cyberspace.
That means Australia pursues policies that deliver security, stability and reliability as well as opportunities afforded by confident, open and trusted cyber interactions.