Western Australia’s $25 Million Boost for Cyber Security

The Western Australia (WA) state government has revealed a $25.5 million injection to boost the state’s responsiveness towards cyber threats by establishing a dedicated Cyber Security Operations Centre facility, as well as opening new recruitment options for cyber security specialists.

The sum draws from WA’s $500 million Digital Capability Fund dedicated to improving the state’s digital foothold, including modernising legacy systems and security.

ICT Minister Stephen Dawson said that the state had placed a great deal of importance on protecting residents in the digital sphere, with the new opportunity having the added benefit of providing new high-skilled jobs.

“The McGowan government is committed to ensuring all Western Australians are safe and secure online,” Dawson said in a release on March 25.

Minister for Innovation and ICT, Emergency Services, Medical Research, and Volunteering Stephen Dawson at Government House in Perth, Australia on March 19, 2021. (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

“Cyber threats continue to evolve, and so by investing in our world-class Cyber Security Operations Centre, Western Australians can be assured important Government services they access will continue to be safe and their information will remain secure.

“The expansion of cyber services across the Public Sector will generate local jobs and entry-level opportunities for Western Australians looking to get into the cyber security sector,” he said.

Australian students have recently been offered a leg up by the federal government after it announced fully paid traineeships would be available for those seeking to fast track their careers as cyber security specialists.

The state’s push towards upping digital defence coincides with the federal government, which recently unveiled a new world-class cyber and foreign intelligence facility.

The facility is set to bolster the nation’s defensive and offensive cyber warfare capabilities, with Defence Minister Peter Dutton issuing a clear warning to foreign threats that Australia would “strike back when necessary.”

Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie highlighted the fact that Australia was under increasing pressure from overseas powers.

“As we’re seeing in conflicts around the globe, authoritarian states are increasingly using cyber attacks to undermine and threaten democracies,” Hastie said.

In 2021, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) witnessed a jump in cyber crime, receiving reports on average once every eight minutes.

This includes attacks on government, power stations, hospitals, food producers, communications, media, and educational institutions.

However, while some of these were independent attacks, others came directly from state-based actors, such as the Russia-linked SolarWinds attack and the China-linked Microsoft email server attack.

Daniel Khmelev


Daniel Khmelev is an Australian reporter based in Perth covering energy, tech, and politics. He holds bachelor’s degrees in math, physics, and computer science. Contact him at daniel.khmelev@epochtimes.com.au.

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