Countering strategic challenges to Australia as a modern digital nation

  • Contributed by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
    AISA is co-operating with ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre to highlight the growing importance and impact of cyber-related issues.

THE cybersecurity standards of Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are particularly worrisome.

Even as we label cyber security a critical issue, SMEs struggle to afford a standard of cybersecurity that is up to scratch.

One solution is for internet service providers to get much better at delivering best practice internet security standards.

This includes relatively straight-forward technical standards of routing, domain name and email security protocols.

To help foster this change the International Cyber Policy Centre is working on a public test tool, the first version of which will be released shortly.

Australia out front

Cyberspace has also become an object of geopolitical competition.

From the start, Australia has been at the forefront of international engagements to encourage cyberspace stability.

While state and state-sponsored espionage will continue to threaten innovative business models, we should all be able to agree on rules to protect critical infrastructure.

That comes with obligations, for instance, conducting thorough due diligence, and prohibiting actions that are simply too harmful to the network or the functioning of society.

At ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre, we run a large number of exercises here and overseas to encourage better behaviour in cyberspace.

This includes large scale exercises testing cyber confidence-building measures and incident-response plans, board-level exercises, cyber-hygiene training, and workshops.

Data-driven future

Creative utilisation of open-source data is crucial to the future of Australian cybersecurity and policy making.

Researchers at ASPI consistently use technology-enabled research techniques to produce ground-breaking reports.

Analysis of open-source data, including via satellites, is an important skill for building up an empirical research base and our analysis of satellite data has led to key insights into topics ranging from international human rights abuses to missiles fired into Pakistan.

Searching for new solutions Just as technology is disrupting the economy, it’s also disrupting the way we conduct research.

Creative and innovative techniques are necessary to solve some of Australia’s most critical cyber issues.

ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre is consistently trying to find new ways to tackle these issues, both at home and abroad, while providing critical, nuanced and thoughtful policy recommendations.

ICPC background:

One of ASPI’s International Cyber Policy Centre key goals is to provide an alternative source of policy advice and to improve capacity in Australia and our region.

This mission is becoming increasingly critical, as new technologies enter the market at increasing speeds, and the barrier to entry for malign actors plummets.

The International Cyber Policy Centre is working on dozens of projects aimed at improving public policy and improving skills and awareness at home and abroad.