WA Government has created a new “Uplift Team”
As cyber attacks become more sophisticated, it’s imperative that governments are well equipped not only to respond to threats, but to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Everyone must agree to take reactive and proactive cybersecurity measures, and when you are the size of the WA government, which has a total of 131 government organisations, a significant investment in technology and training is required.
The WA government has organised a new strike team, the “Uplift Team” to help departments and agencies improve their cybersecurity posture after enforcing Eight cybersecurity controls last year.
A $25.5 million funding injection in the government’s mid-year budget review has made the uplift team possible. Provided through the government’s new digital capability fund the funding will be used to further develop WA’s cyber security capabilities, including incident detection, response and prevention.
In September 2020, WA’s Office of Digital Government (DGov) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft to enhance the public sector’s ability to identify and eliminate cybercrime. This security focus was aligned with State Government Procurement who negotiated a significant uplift in the security products in the State Government Microsoft agreements.
The Uplift team will initially consist of five people and will work on a number of different initiatives across a number of agencies depending on where help is needed.
DGov has invested heavily in cybersecurity training and awareness programs at various levels across WA’s public sector in recent years. Following the funding, approximately 25 employees will join the cybersecurity unit in total, equally split between political and operational roles.
Chief information security officer Peter Bouhlas said the new team had been created to help “agencies to understand where their weak spots are and to provide direct support”.
Western Australian government agencies have been struggling to meeting cyber security requirements for several years, as highlighted in numerous information systems reports from the state’s auditor-general.
The government’s investment in DGov’s cyber security unit will also furnish it with a dedicate facility to house the growing team.