ACSC – Australian Cyber Security Centre
Partnering for a cyber secure Australia
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is an important Australian Government initiative to ensure that Australian networks are amongst the hardest in the world to compromise.
The centre brings together existing cyber security capabilities across Defence, the Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, Australian Federal Police and Australian Crime Commission in a single location.
Importantly, it creates a hub for even greater collaboration and information sharing with the private sector, state and territory governments and international partners to combat the full breadth of cyber threats.
What is the role of the ACSC?
- raises awareness of cyber security
- reports on the nature and extent of cyber threats
- encourages reporting of cyber security incidents
- analyses and investigates cyber threats
- coordinates national cyber security operations and capability, and
- leads the Australian Government’s operational response to cyber incidents.
ACSC identifies malicious activity conducted by sophisticated foreign hackers by using advanced analytic capabilities and techniques. The workforce includes staff highly trained in computer information technology and analysis. This, together with ASD’s high-powered computing resources, ensures the centre is able to process large volumes of data to identify cyber threats. ASD uses this information to proactively and reactively respond to cyber threats.
When did the ACSC become operational?
The ACSC opened in November 2014.
How is the ACSC funded?
The ACSC is funded from existing agency resources. Each portfolio participating in the ACSC contributes to the costs.
How many staff will the ACSC have?
The ACSC will have approximately 300 officers by 2017.
Who is responsibile for the ACSC?
The ACSC is the joint responsibility of the Attorney-General and Minister for Defence.
Clive Lines, a deputy director at the Australian Signals Directorate, is the centre’s coordinator.
How does the ACSC work with the private sector?
The ACSC builds on the already strong links between government and the private sector, particularly those already established by ACSC agencies.
The ACSC is considering a number of models for partnering with industry which will allow close engagement on everything from information-sharing to the development of effective response strategies.
How is the ACSC different from the Cyber Security Operations Centre?
The ACSC is the next evolution of Australia’s cyber security capability. The Cyber Security Operations Centre was a Defence-based capability that hosted liaison staff from other government agencies. The ACSC sees the co-location of all contributing agencies' cyber security capabilities.
The ACSC has co-located:
- ASD’s cyber security mission - the Commonwealth authority on information security provides advice and assistance to Australian government agencies
- Attorney-General’s CERT Australia - the point of contact in government for cyber security issues affecting major Australian businesses
- representatives of the Australian Federal Police, who investigate and respond to cyber crime of national significance
- the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, which discovers, understands and prioritises cyber crime threat intelligence to enhance response options
- cyber investigations and telecommunication security specialists from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
- strategic intelligence analysts from the Defence Intelligence Organisation.
What are the ACSC governance arrangements?
The ACSC is overseen by the Cyber Security Operations Board (CSOB). The CSOB is a secretary and agency head-level board responsible for strategic oversight of the government’s operational cyber security capabilities and coordination of cyber security measures.
Each agency maintains its current responsibilities, mandates and authorities under the law and to government.
Each agency is responsible for protecting the privacy and sensitivity of their information according to relevant policies and legislations.
The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) continues to oversee all activities of the Australian Intelligence Community agencies located in the ACSC.
2017 Independent Intelligence Review
In July 2017 the Prime Minister released the unclassified version of the 2017 Independent Intelligence Review. The review made a number of recommendations, including new arrangements for the Australian Cyber Security Centre. We are excited about these new opportunities.