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New cyber laws ‘necessary but not sufficient’ to protect national security, expert warns

A leading cyber security expert has warned a planned shake-up of Australia’s cyber defences won’t be enough to protect critical infrastructure, saying companies will need to go beyond minimum standards to combat escalating threats from state-based actors and criminal organisations.

The Morrison government on Monday released the draft exposure bill for its overhaul of critical infrastructure, which would give national security agencies powers to step into the networks of some companies to disrupt and fend off major attacks.

Australia has been combating a wave of cyber attacks from a state-based actor.

Australia has been combating a wave of cyber attacks from a state-based actor.

Companies that operate critical infrastructure, including hospitals, electricity networks, transport, banking, food supplies and defence, will face stricter obligations to report vulnerabilities and cyber attacks.

Accenture’s Australia security lead, Joseph Failla, said the proposed security standards were “necessary but not sufficient to protect our national security”.

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