By: Kieran Doyle, Nicole Gabryk and Nick Martin

The Australian Government released the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy (the Strategy) on 22 November 2023. According to the Department of Home Affairs:

The Strategy is the roadmap that will help realise the Australian Government’s vision of becoming a world leader in cyber security by 2030. To achieve this vision, we need to protect Australians. Through the Strategy we seek to improve our cyber security, manage cyber risks and better support citizens and Australian businesses to manage the cyber environment around them. We will do this with six cyber shields.

The six shields set out in the Strategy are:

  1. Strong businesses and citizens
  2. Safe technology
  3. World-class threat sharing and blocking
  4. Protected critical infrastructure
  5. Sovereign capabilities
  6. Resilient region and global leadership

Further to our recent analysis of shields 1 and 2 of the Australian Government’s 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy released on 22 November 2023, shield 3 of the Strategy focuses on collaboratively gathering information and blocking cyber threats.



Shield 3 – World-class threat sharing and blocking

The Government has two areas of focus in shield 3:

    1. Creating a whole-of-economy threat intelligence network through:
      • existing initiatives such as the ASD’s intelligence threat sharing platforms and the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre’s Trusted Information Sharing Network
      • establishing a coalition of government and industry leaders under the Execute Cyber Council, and
      • initiatives to promote threat-intelligence sharing across industries, including establishing Intelligence Sharing and Analysis Centres and investing in a Threat Sharing Acceleration Fund.
    2. Scaling threat-blocking capabilities to stop cyber-attacks involving a mixture of enhanced technical capabilities, regulatory functions, and baseline mitigation strategies implemented by both government bodies and industry.

Telecommunications companies (telcos) and internet service providers (ISPs) are likely to be subject to further regulation, including regulatory amendments on proactive actions/obligations to block threats (more on this to come in our analysis of shield 4). The actual impact on businesses of this initiative remains to be seen. Increased regulation of a variety of industries (for example, through the imposition of industry codes that specify responsibilities of the private sector in relation to scam activity) could come with further costs to businesses. However, it is in everyone’s interest to broaden threat intelligence sharing and enhance threat blocking across the whole economy, and any increased costs pale in significance compared to the cost to business (both financial and reputational) of a catastrophic cyber attack. Initiatives such as this should allow government bodies and industry, working together, to keep pace with the cyber criminals and threat actors in an ever-evolving cyber landscape.

Finally, while threat sharing of any kind by organisations will require further consideration, both in terms of existing legal and/or confidentiality obligations, and reputational risks, the vision outlined in shield 3 is a noble ambition. If the challenges to effective implementation are overcome, shield 3 should lead to greater collaboration between Government agencies and industries of all sizes and result in a more cyber-resilient Australia.