AFR Cyber Summit Australia 2023

​Good morning ladies and gents.

I’ll start by thanking the Australian Financial Review for putting this together and in advance thanking Paul for the very soft questions he’s going to ask me on stage after I finish, and also the sponsors in the white box over there without whose support we wouldn’t be able to have times like this.

For me, there are few more important things than listening, learning and planning as a group.

Let me start with a slightly self-indulgent story.

When I was around eight years old, I remember coming from school and seeing a large white book sitting on the front verandah of my parents’ house on the Gold Coast. The book was the White Pages and included most of my community’s personal information, conveniently in alphabetical order for ease of reference. Names, addresses and phone numbers for everyone.

My dad had a corner store where I saw people signing cheques – a promise on paper, with a signature unique to the customer. Society functioned on trust. But our horizons have expanded. We are fearful of our information being public – and perhaps so we should be given the risks it inspires.

This is the great irony of the Information Age – the very technologies that empower us to create incredible things also benefit those who seek to disrupt and destroy. One of our benefits
 our ability to communicate through the internet, is also one of our greatest vulnerabilities. It’s this vulnerability I have been asked to work to mitigate.

I’ve been in the role of National Cyber Security Coordinator for a little under three months. Today I want to convey my initial perspectives and update you on what I have been doing since the Prime Minister announced my appointment on 23 June this year.

This morning the Minister the Honourable Clare O’Neil, outlined her broad vision for the National Cyber Security Strategy, giving you an initial glimpse into the Shields we will seek to erect on the path towards 2030.

The desired end state is clear: in just seven years, we will be a world leading cyber secure nation. But it won’t be easy. When things are changing – like they are in cyber security
you need to think big, pull lead, take measured…