Every society depends on infrastructure: energy, roads and transport, supply chains, water, and communications. The computerised connectedness of all critical infrastructure, along with our dependence on its reliability, means it is exposed to cyber-attacks and functioning societies are therefore at risk of significant disruption.
The breakdown of our critical infrastructure due to a malicious threat leaves all citizens exposed to harm and any potential cyber threat must be taken seriously. That entails a preparedness within government, industry and other decision-makers to govern, protect, detect and respond at various different levels. With all this in mind, how do societies ensure they are protected against cyber threats to critical infrastructure?
In Australia, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) looks after the nation’s cyber security and provides information to all levels of government, businesses and the community regarding ways to keep safe in the cyber world.
Owners of critical infrastructure already have in place strategies to deal with cyber threats. Such strategies are arrived at through systematic communication and decision-making between stakeholders, employees and senior leadership, and must include comprehensive risk mitigation plans as part of a wider asset management framework. The ease with which hackers and cyber terrorists can infiltrate information systems means that policies for data and information storage, access and deletion must be clear, straightforward, and accessible.
The ACSC has published Strategies to Mitigate Cyber Security Incidentswhich contains mitigation strategies and a possible implementation plan. The resource contains useful steps and relative security effectiveness ratings, to ensure that businesses at all levels are aware of the critical nature of security.
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