Budget 2018: Funding to enhance security of Bureau of Meteorology, parliament IT systems

The government will continue funding a push to boost the security and resilience of the Bureau of Meteorology’s IT systems and observations network infrastructure , but will not reveal how much it plans to spend on the initiative.

The 2018-19 budget includes funding for the second tranche of the program. The first tranche was funded in last year’s budget, though again the government declined to reveal any figures for the measure.

The effort to boost the Bureau’s security came after reports surfaced in late 2015 that its systems has been penetrated by a hacker. In April 2016 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed that a “significant cyber intrusion” had taken place.

The 2018-19 funding will be “partially offset by ceasing planned expenditure on the Bureau’s ICT capital projects which are no longer required due to the broader investment in the Bureau’s ICT,” budget documents state.

“The investment will assist the Bureau to deliver critical services across the Australian economy, including to the aviation, emergency services, agriculture and defence sectors. This will enable the Bureau to continue to provide reliable, ongoing access to weather, climate, water and oceans information, and will improve the Bureau’s digital offerings to the Australian public.”

In his 2016 comments, made at the launch of the government’s national cyber security strategy, Turnbull also said that the Department of Parliamentary Services had “suffered a similar intrusion” to the Bureau.

The 2018-19 budget includes funding for the development of a Department of Parliamentary Services cyber security operations centre.

The government said it would provide $9 million over four years, including $300,000 in capital funding in 2018-19 for the SOC, which will “enhance cyber security protection for the parliamentary computing network.”


Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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