Related ministers and contacts
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
Minister for Defence
Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927
Defence Media: firstname.lastname@example.org
30 June 2020
Interview with the Today Show, David Campbell
Topics: Cyber funding announcement
***Check against delivery***
DAVID CAMPBELL: The Government has announced its largest ever cyber security boost with a billion dollars to recruit 500 spies to protect the nation from state sponsored hackers. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds joins us now in Canberra. Minister we are already experiencing an escalating wave of breaches here, the damage is already done. Is the Government’s investment too little too late?
MINISTER REYNOLDS: Well good morning David and as you said, malicious cyber activity against Australia and Australians is on the increase, both in terms of size, scale and also its impact. So today myself and the Prime Minister have announced that we are making the largest single investment in cyber security in Australia's history - that’s $1.35 billion to do a range of things - increase our technical capabilities for the Australian Signals Directorate and the Australian Cyber Security Centre. But this, as you've alluded to, this is part of a much larger investment in defence cyber and information warfare, a $15 billion package that the Prime Minister and I will have more to say about very shortly.
DAVID CAMPBELL: So the Prime Minister says malicious cyber activity. you've just mentioned it yourself, against Australia is increasing in its frequency, scale and sophistication. Who is targeting us?
MINISTER REYNOLDS: Well there are many malicious cyber actors now active globally and here in Australia. They could be anything from cyber criminals to other nations. So the threats are many and varied. But ultimately cyber security and cyber defence of our nation are increasingly the same thing. Because if you attack, for example, our power grid or a water company or our banking system, whether you do it as a scam or whether you do it to actually bring down that system, they are both attacks on our national sovereignty, which is why we 're making the single largest investment in cyber security, the $1.35 billion. And David we're all......
DAVID CAMPBELL: Are those systems you mentioned, are they vulnerable?
MINISTER REYNOLDS: Cyber criminals and state-based actors are getting increasingly sophisticated and clever in how they attack our systems. So it is critically important that not only the Federal Government but also all companies, all utilities and also all Australians make sure that they're cyber safe. And David If people want to find out more information they can go to cyber.gov.au and get all the information they need to make sure they individually and also their organisation stays one step ahead of cyber threats.
DAVID CAMPBELL: Alright well the UK's five year cyber security plan is worth $3.4 billion Australian, the President Donald Trump budgets up towards $25 billion Australian annually for cyber security. So with those numbers in mind, what they are going through, is your ten-year $1.35 billion investment, is that going to be enough?
MINISTER REYNOLDS: Well David yes it is and as I've said, that's additional funding. And as I've just given you the exclusive, we're going to be making an announcement later this week to increasing it to $15 billion for defence, cyber defence and also information warfare. But David we're not doing this alone. We work very closely with GCHQ in the United Kingdom and with the NSA and other agencies in the United States, so this is a collective global effort. And we are certainly doing our bit to keep Australians safe and to work very closely and assist other global partners.
DAVID CAMPBELL: And Minister just quickly, that $15 billion, where is it going to go to?
MINISTER REYNOLDS: Go to Defence so both to the Department of Defence and also the Australian Signals Directorate and as I've announced today the Australian Cyber Security Centre, both of which also sit within the Defence portfolio.