Government, Defence team up to make businesses ‘Defence-ready’

Image Credit: Department of Defence

The Morrison Government and Australia’s defence industry have teamed up to develop a security guide aimed towards helping small businesses improve security practices and overcome cyber security issues.

Minister for Defence Industry Mellisa Price, together with Australian Industry Group national president Chris Jenkins, today launched the Working Securely with Defence guide – a ‘go-to’ guide intended to make businesses ‘Defence-ready’.

“This is so important to the strategic priorities of Australia, ensuring that both industry and Defence are working on the same page,” explained Mr Jenkins.

The guide is a year-long collaborative effort among the following groups: Defence, AiGroup, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).

“The development of this guide has been a genuine team effort, drawing on deep expertise and connections across Government, Defence, Australian defence industry and industry associations,” said Minister Price.

“It has been developed by industry for industry and will help businesses understand what they need to do to improve their security practices.”

Minister Price added that the guide should also provide direction and support to defence industry and supply providers to understand their security obligations and improve their security practices when delivering their services.

Nearly 40 per cent of businesses applying to win Defence work are ill-equipped in Defence’s standards, prompting the Government and industry leaders to focus on providing cyber security support to applicants.

Through its Defence Industry Security Program (DISP), the Defence has helped over 600 companies and Australian businesses improve their security, and meet security obligations in Defence projects, contracts and tenders.

The Working Securely with Defence guide will support the Government’s $270 billion investment in Defence capability over the next decade, and will complement Minister Price’s ‘five pillars‘ approach to supporting Australian businesses by improving Defence communications.

“I am making sure Defence works with our industry partners, especially when it comes to cyber security, so that businesses can be ready and more experienced as we come back from COVID-19,” Minister Price said.

To bolster industry security, the Government has also committed $15 billion to cyber and information warfare capabilities, with $1.35 billion to be spent combating malicious cyber activity, $31 million to enhance the ability of ASD to disrupt cyber crime offshore, and $35 million to deliver an enhanced cyber threat-sharing platform.

Additionally, $12 million will help formulate new strategic mitigations and active disruption options. $118 million will help expand ASD’s data science and intelligence capabilities.

The Working Securely with Defence guide can be accessed from the Defence: