Recognising the growing risk of global cyberattacks, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to create a new cyber security role as part of a ministerial reshuffle later this month.
It is understood the new role will become a key part of the Home Affairs portfolio.
The new Minister will be tasked with actioning cybersecurity legislation and the rollout of the Government’s cybersecurity strategy.
Local industry and the federal Opposition have been urging the government to reappoint a cyber minister after the position was scrapped two years ago.
Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull created the role in 2016 as part of the national cyber strategy. But Mr Morrison cut the position in August 2018 soon after his appointment as Prime Minister.
Cathie Reid, deputy chairwoman of the Government’s industry advisory committee, says Australian companies should be aware of cyber security risks.
“A successful sustained cyberattack on a critical infrastructure asset such as an energy grid in NSW could cause consequential and cascading consequences across the country – and into other sectors reliant on that energy grid – shutting down financial services and hospitals in Queensland,” she said.
The prime minister’s move follows a spate of recent cyberattacks on major organisations including Service NSW, BlueScope Steel, My Budget and Toll.
The appointment of a new Cybersecurity Minister would help to protect and support key industries including health, transport, banking & finance, medical, communications, food & beverage, education, energy, defence and research.