Government flags closer relationship with IT industry over e-security

Conroy and McClelland announce outcomes of E-Security Review, 2008

Australian Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy, have flagged closer relationships with the IT industry and ISPs as necessary to improving the nation’s e-security.

The call comes as the first outcomes of the E-Security Review, 2008, undertaken by the Government, were announced in a joint release.

"The Prime Minister's National Security Statement recognised that e-security is one of the Government's top national security priorities. New online threats are emerging and it's imperative that we take steps to protect critical e-infrastructure," McClelland said in the release.

As a result of the review the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), and the Department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, will develop a code of practice for e-security in conjunction with ISPs.

The Australian Government Computer Emergency Readiness Team (GovCERT.au) will also launch information exchanges covering the banking and finance sector, telecommunications, and water and power utilities with the IT industry.

IDC security analyst, Patrik Bihammar, said although the announcement was short on detail it was a welcome move.

“It’s very hard to interpret exactly what the execution of their intentions will be, but reading through the recommendations they are all sound,” Bihammar said. “They are very much focussed on information sharing and collaboration between different Government agencies in Australia and internationally with ISPs and the broader business community.

“At face value they are all sound recommendations but the proof is going to be in the pudding in terms of how they will be executed or implemented.”

The release stated the Rudd Government was still considering other unannounced recommendations made in the review but did not provide a timeline for when they would be made public.

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