Cyber course

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) is calling for Federal, State, and Territory Governments to support local governments in assessing the sector’s cyber security and readiness to defend against attacks.

ALGA said that, to be properly prepared for cyber-attacks and defend against data breaches,  councils urgently need  support, with recent sector surveys in New South Wales and Western Australia finding that councils could significantly improve  management of cyber risks.

ALGA President, Councillor Linda Scott, said these findings demonstrated the need for Federal, State and Territory Governments to support local governments by assessing the sector’s cyber maturity and readiness to defend against attacks.

“Cyber-security is increasingly becoming an issue for all levels of government.  Australia’s 537 local governments are particularly exposed as we collect and hold a significant amount of sensitive information,” Cr Scott said.

“We are calling on the Federal Government to support us to assess the risks and opportunities across all councils in Australia and develop a consistent approach for improving our sector’s cyber-security capacity.

“Cyber-attacks are mostly from overseas and from national actors or government-sanctioned criminals, making cyber security a national security and federal government issue.”

ALGA has called on the government – as part of its pre-Budget 2023-24 submission – to:

  • Provide $10 million to scope local government’s preparedness to deal with cyber-attacks and data breaches
  • Appoint a dedicated local government Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in the Australian Cyber Security Centre within the Australian Signals Directorate

Ms Scott said, “without federal support, there’s a danger of local government being further exposed to data breaches, and community-based data being compromised.”

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