Government pushes for tighter cyber security after Optus hack


Source: Bianca De Marchi / AAP Image

The Australian government will be rolling out new cyber security reforms off the back of the Optus cyberattack, Minister for Cybersecurity Clare O’Neil has announced.

The changes are said to be unveiled some time this week, and are expected to focus on infrastructure that will allow financial institutions to be more swiftly informed when a data breach occurs so they can stop personal data being used to access those particular accounts.

Australian companies must do all they can to protect their customers’ data. I will have much more to say in coming days about the Optus cyber attack and what steps need to be taken in the future,” Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil, said on Twitter.

Shadow Minister for Cyber Security James Paterson and Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews are also pushing for sign off on a private members bill. 

First proposed by the former government back in February, it would enforce harsher punishments for hackers that target essential services and infrastructure.

If passed, it would become an aggravated offense to buy and sell stolen data that could result in up to 25 years imprisonment.

“It’s critically important that Australian businesses take this issue seriously because it can have profound implications not just for their business and not just for their shareholders, but for their customers and our wider economy and society,” Paterson said in a press conference on Monday.

Both Paterson and Andrews were critical of the Labor government and Optus in the press conference, referring to the yet-to-be-announced reforms as “reactive”.

“This looks like a case of the…