A strong and resilient cyber security posture for Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the global community


  • Maintain strong cyber security relationships with international partners
  • Encourage innovative cyber security solutions and deliver world leading cyber security advice
  • Develop regional cyber security capability
  • Promote Australia's cyber security industry
Cyber security icon

Cyber security provides the foundation for the achievement of Australia's entire cyber affairs agenda. Cyber security is an important theme of every part of this Strategy. This chapter addresses the specific activities that Australia undertakes internationally to achieve a strong and resilient cyber security posture for Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the global community.

The objective of strong cyber security is to enable access to online information by individuals, governments and businesses, while ensuring the information and the systems that underpin it are protected from unauthorised access, removal or change. This increases the trust and confidence of users, which will underpin continued investment in innovative technologies, driving continued economic growth.

Australia cannot act in isolation. Collaborative networks with international partners are critical to combatting global threats. Cyber security is strengthened by a dynamic domestic cyber security industry that is active internationally. This in turn will help grow Australia as a hub for international cyber security research and education. Australia's trusted international relationships will foster a readiness to share information and best practice, and cooperate to solve technical problems.

Cyber security

Cyber security encapsulates measures relating to the confidentiality, availability and integrity of information that is processed, stored and communicated by electronic or similar means.

Maintain strong relationships with international partners

Engaging internationally to strengthen the collective cyber security of Australia, the Indo-Pacific and the broader global community is a key objective for Australia. The global nature of the Internet means that cyber threats emerging anywhere in the world can impact Australia. Our international engagement will seek to build Australia's knowledge and capabilities and to enhance the cyber security posture of international partners, particularly those with extensive economic, diplomatic and social links with Australia. By improving the cyber security of our partners, we strengthen our own cyber defences.

Sharing cyber security information with international partners builds strong collective understanding of threats. It also improves our combined ability to prevent, detect, analyse, respond, mitigate and recover from cyber security threats and incidents. Building trusted international cyber security threat sharing networks gives Australia and our partners the best possible chance of staying ahead of malicious actors.

Through the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Australia engages with international cyber security organisations, law enforcement agencies and industry partners. This cooperatively develops our collective cyber resilience, and assists law enforcement agencies to investigate cybercrimes.

Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and cyber security centres around the world work to protect and respond to incidents affecting systems of national interest. Partners are able to build a trusted community where indicators of compromise and threat information are shared – preferably automatically. This ensures that all members of trusted information sharing networks are well-placed to take informed actions in their respective domestic contexts.

This cooperation is framed by Australia's suite of cyber policy dialogues with a range of international partners including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

The Australian Cyber Security Centre's international cyber engagement efforts

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) brings together cyber security capabilities across the Australian Government to enable a more complete understanding of sophisticated cyber threats, facilitate faster and more effective response to significant cyber incidents, and foster better interaction between government and industry partners. The ACSC engages with international partner organisations to share cyber threat information, to cooperate on operational responses to major cyber incidents and to work collaboratively on best practice mitigations.

Australia has established cyber security information sharing arrangements with a variety of strategic international partners across the public sector, private sector and research communities. These include bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding, engagement between intelligence agencies, national cyber security centres, industry bodies, cyber security researchers, and participation in regional and international forums.

Australia will continue to strengthen and expand our network of strategic information sharing partners, both providing and receiving information to enhance the cyber security posture of Australia and the cyber security of our international partners. The establishment of Joint Cyber Security Centres and the relocation of the ACSC to a new purpose-built facility will facilitate improved collaboration and more integrated partnerships.

The ACSC through CERT Australia, Australia's national CERT, works closely with industry partners to protect domestic critical infrastructure and other systems of national interest. To facilitate this, CERT Australia has a number of key operational level relationships with bilateral partners and multilateral forums. Australia's international CERT relationships enable the trusted sharing of threat information and the joint development of tools and techniques to prevent, detect, analyse, respond, mitigate and recover from cyber incidents. This global CERT network supports the ACSC's capability to respond to cyber incidents and assists domestic industry partners to take proactive cyber security measures.

CERT Australia is committed to strengthening and expanding its network of CERT relationships in the Indo-Pacific and more broadly to secure Australia's critical infrastructure and other systems of national interest. Australia is committed to participating in coordinated global efforts to strengthen global CERT capacity – both sharing our expertise and learning from others.

While the structure, mandates and constituencies of national CERTs may differ, they also have many commonalities. They are operationally focused and staffed by cyber security professionals with the technical expertise to respond to cyber incidents. A key role for a national CERT is to be a main operational point of contact during an international cyber incident, assisting in the conduct of coordinated incident response.

International collaboration at this technical operationally focused level ensures the ACSC can perform incident response activities in Australia quickly and effectively.

Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team

The Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) is a grouping of leading and national CERTs and Computer Security Incident Response Teams dedicated to the protection of national infrastructure in the Asia Pacific. It is just one example of economies collaborating to build collective incident response capability in order to prevent, detect, analyse, respond, mitigate and recover from cyber incidents. APCERT has an operational focus with objectives to help create a safe and reliable cyberspace in the Asia Pacific through global collaboration. CERT Australia currently chairs the APCERT Steering Committee and, with the other APCERT members, participates in an annual APCERT drill and other capacity building activities.


2.01 - Strengthen and expand Australia's strategic international cyber security information sharing partners and trusted networks

2.02 - Strengthen and expand Australia's network of CERT relationships, especially in the Indo-Pacific

2.03 - Be a prominent contributor to the APCERT community

Encourage innovative cyber security solutions and deliver world leading cyber security advice

Encourage innovative cyber security solutions

Increasing connectivity, and the proliferation of devices connected to the Internet (the Internet of Things), highlights the importance of security as a fundamental driver in the design and delivery of information communication and technology (ICT) products, systems and services. Australians use digital products and services from all over the world. There is still much work to be done internationally to promote the development of ICT products, systems and services that are secure by design.

Cyber security experts in the ACSC engage with the leading innovators and technical experts in the ICT vendor community to share expertise. ACSC experts also promote cyber security as a fundamental element in the design of new products, systems and services. These partnerships inform cyber security technical advice produced by the ACSC, as well as improving the cyber security functionality within new products, systems and services.

Australia will continue the evaluation of the security of ICT products through the Australasian Information Security Evaluation Program's involvement in the Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement (ISO/IEC 15408 Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation). We will also support the efforts of standards bodies, including work by Standards Australia (see below) on the ISO/IEC 27000 series of information security standards.

Standards Australia

The development and application of international standards play a key role in improving the quality and cyber security of digital products, systems and services across the globe, and assist in protecting governments, business and consumers alike.

Standards Australia, as a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), contributes to developing international standards. These standards are designed to enhance the security of information technology systems, networks and critical online infrastructures. This work is carried out through ISO's Technical Committees (TCs) and Joint Technical Committees (JTCs).

Australia's contribution in this area includes leading development of international standards for ISO/TC 307 Blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies. We also work with other ISO/IEC JTC One members on cloud computing and distributed platforms and information technology security techniques.

Deliver world leading cyber security advice

Australia produces world leading cyber security advice and best practice, which, if implemented, enhances the cyber security of individuals, businesses and governments. This includes the Information Security Manual, Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidents and its Essential Eight, as well as the Stay Smart Online guidelines for small businesses and individuals.

The Australian Signals Directorate's Essential Eight

ASD has developed the Essential Eight strategies to mitigate cyber security incidents. This framework provides helpful practices that organisations can implement in their everyday operations to improve their cyber security.

Through its international cyber security engagement and partnerships with the private sector, Australia will promote the adoption of best practice cyber security advice to raise the bar for international cyber security, enhancing the cyber resilience of our international partners. As a first step, Australia will translate and publish ASD's Essential Eight mitigation strategies and its companion documents into the official languages of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


2.04 - Promote cyber security as a fundamental input to the design and delivery of information and communication technologies products, systems and services

2.05 - Support the development of international standards that improve cyber security and encourage harmonisation of standards for digital products

2.06 - Publish translations of ASD's Essential Eight strategies and companion implementation documents in the official languages of ASEAN members

Develop regional cyber security capability

Australia is committed to assisting partners in the Indo-Pacific develop their capacity to address cyber threats, strengthen cyber security and combat cybercrime through the Cyber Cooperation Program (see the Comprehensive & Coordinated Cyber Affairs chapter). Increasing connectivity in the Indo-Pacific is a force for significant social and economic development and inclusion. However, increased connectivity also has the potential to expose the region to increased threats from malicious cyber actors.

Recognising the importance of cyber resilience, and with the understanding that not every country in our region has the capacity to establish a cyber security capability such as a national CERT, Australia will work with our Pacific neighbours to establish a Pacific Cyber Security Operational Network (PaCSON).

The PaCSON network will consist of technical experts from respective governments across the Pacific, and will be supported by other partners including not-for-profit organisations and academia. PaCSON will establish operational cyber security points of contact. It will empower members to share cyber security threat information; provide opportunities for technical experts to share tools, techniques and ideas; and be an enabler of cooperation and collaboration, particularly if a cyber security incident affects the region. Further, it is envisaged that PaCSON will provide members with a toolkit for cyber security incident response and assist with cyber security awareness raising activities across the Pacific.


2.07 - Work with regional partners in the Pacific to establish PaCSON

Promote Australia's cyber security industry

Export Australian cyber security solutions

Australia is committed to growing a vibrant cyber security sector in response to the increasing domestic and regional demand for cyber security solutions. Australia has designated the cyber security sector as a key sector for export promotion. We are committed to increasing the number of Australian cyber security companies operating successfully in global markets.

Australia is collaborating with private sector partners, including the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber), to develop a deeper understanding of Australian cyber security capabilities and market demands. AustCyber, an industry-led not-for-profit company, is part of the Australian Government's $250 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative and the 2016 Cyber Security Strategy. It plays a key role in supporting the development of national cyber security capability by helping Australia's cyber security sector overcome challenges to innovation, productivity and growth.

There are particular sectors where Australia already has comparative advantages in cyber security capability, which are described in Australia's Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan. To promote these sectors, Australia will proactively identify opportunities in key overseas markets, lead trade delegations to these key markets, and encourage the use of Landing Pads (see below).

Australia supports the responsible export of cyber security solutions. To help promote responsible export worldwide, Australia actively supports international export control regimes such as the Wassenaar Arrangement. To help foster cyber innovation and good cyber security practice, Australia has led the discussion with Wassenaar Participating States to ease export restrictions on cyber security technology for defensive purposes.

Landing Pads

As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, Austrade has established five Landing Pads in Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore and Tel Aviv. Landing Pads provide market-ready Australian start-ups/scale-ups with access to some of the world's most renowned innovation and start-up ecosystems. Participating start-ups/scale-ups have a short-term operational base for up to 90 days, where they will benefit from Austrade's global network of contacts and tailored business development assistance. The Landing Pads are situated in leading co-working spaces in each location.

Austrade is conducting a pilot program focused on cyber security start-ups and scale-ups in the San Francisco Landing Pad from January to April 2018. This activity is designed to build on the success of the Australian cyber security mission to San Francisco Bay Area in February 2017.

Attract foreign direct investment to Australia's cyber security sector

Producing world-class cyber security research is one of Australia's national science and research priorities, as set out in the National Innovation and Science Agenda. We will continue to promote Australia as a location of choice for global cyber security companies looking to establish a base in the Indo-Pacific, and as a leading centre for cyber education and research.

Australia has identified cyber security and related digital technologies as a target sector for attracting investment. As part of its strategy to promote, attract and facilitate productive foreign direct investment, the Australian Government will continue to work collaboratively with state and territory governments to provide qualified potential investors with information on the Australian business and regulatory environment, market intelligence and investment opportunities, and advice on government programs and approval processes.

Australia will work through AustCyber to showcase our cyber security industry capabilities through an Australian Cyber Week. Annual workshops will follow thereafter to agree priority areas of focus in line with annual updates to Australia's Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan.


2.08 - Showcase Australia's cyber security capabilities to international customers and investors, including through delivery of an annual Australian Cyber Week

2.09 - Promote and encourage cyber security start-ups through Landing Pads

2.10 - Partner with the private sector to host a workshop to co-design how Australia promotes its cyber security industry internationally

1. Digital trade
3. Cybercrime