Business-Government Advisory Group on National Security Meeting

Sydney, NSW, Australia ( April 10, 2011

Business-Government Advisory Group on National Security Meeting

Business-Government Advisory Group on National Security Meeting

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy joined CEOs from more than 20 of Australia’s major companies for the seventh meeting of the Business-Government Advisory Group on National Security in Sydney.

The Group – chaired by the Attorney-General – is a high level forum for Australia’s top business leaders to discuss key national security issues with the Government and security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Mr McClelland said the CEOs received confidential briefings from the Office of National Assessments (ONA) and the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) and conducted discussions with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

“This year’s briefing focused on cyber security issues, especially for large Australian companies doing business internationally,” Mr McClelland said.

“Security agencies are finding malicious cyber activity is increasing to a point where systems in both government and the private sector are under continuous threat.

“The threat to critical infrastructure such as banking, telecommunications and government systems is not something we can be complacent about.

“The Australian Government takes the issue of cyber security very seriously and is constantly strengthening cyber security measures.

“Part of this includes engaging with major companies and critical infrastructure organisations to ensure they’re aware of the extent of the threats, and have strong systems in place to deal with attacks.”

Senator Conroy said the Commonwealth Government launched Australia’s first Cyber Security Strategy in 2009, which emphasised the importance of a business-government partnership to address the cyber security threat.

“Cyber security threats represent an increasingly complex challenge to Australia’s economic, social and national security interests,” he said

“Without strong partnerships we create weak links that provide an opening for a range of cyber threats from both State and non-State actors.”

Australia has strong measures in place to counter cyber threats including the Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) in DSD, a dedicated ASIO Cyber Investigations Unit and the Commonwealth Government’s Computer Emergency Response Team.

“I comment the corporate leaders who attended today’s briefing for their commitment to the security of their own companies and working together in the national interest,” Mr McClelland said.

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