RED SPICE and National Cyber Security

How the RED SPICE initiative will help small businesses

In the most recent federal budget, the Australian Government has committed $10 billion over the next 10 years towards the Australian Signals Directorate’s RED SPICE (Resilience, Effects, Defense, Space, Intelligence, Cyber and Enablers) initiative. This is the government’s newest initiative to help fight international cybercrime and protect our local businesses. With warfare moving digital, the Australian Government decided that defense spending is best targeted at strengthening our only border with other countries; the internet. 

But why has this happened so suddenly? Cyber security has always been a concern, but this is a bigger financial commitment than anything to date. 

Not only has there been an overall increase in cybercrime globally during the pandemic, but throughout the war with the Ukraine, Russia’s cyber-attacks have proven devastating. Back in February Russia cut off access to several government websites and bank websites in the Ukraine using Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS). The concern here is that these attacks will spill over and affect Australia financially, and also that these attacks may be aimed at Australia directly in the future.  

Another concern is that Russia funds these attacks through crypto-mining. This requires huge processing power, so instead of paying for this they employ cyber-criminals to launch malware attacks to compromise thousands of computers and use them instead. This generates income that they then spend on hiring more people and launching more cyber-attacks. So poor cyber security not only negatively impacts your business, but it can actively help fuel more cyber-attacks in the future. 

Over the last year there has been an increase of 13% in reported cybercrime according to the ACSC and that is just projected to continue to increase in the future. Of the businesses surveyed by the ACSC, 62% said they have dealt with cyber incidents, which were predominantly made up of small (5-19 people) and medium (20-199 people) businesses.  

REDSPICE and associated funding has been put in place to directly facilitate cyber security professionals assessing where there are gaps in your cyber security, based on the Essential Eight published by ACSC in June 2017. Thanks to the government funding, this is free for small and medium Australian businesses when they talk to a Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers Australia New Zealand registered business, a list of which can be found on their website. 

This, together with the government’s budget initiative which gives companies the ability to get an additional 20% back when they claim IT expenditure on their tax return, can help your business have high level cyber security coverage and support in preparation for the predicted increases over the coming years.  

If you want to take advantage of these plentiful government technology initiatives, please contact us to have a conversation about how we can help you strengthen your company’s cyber security, and ensure you aren’t one of the statistics.  

Sources for the article: 

Background –  
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/mar/29/redspice-budget-ushers-in-australias-biggest-ever-cybersecurity-spend  
https://theconversation.com/budget-2022-9-9-billion-towards-cyber-security-aims-to-make-australia-a-key-offensive-cyber-player-180321 
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2022-03-30/australia-sends-a-a-10-billion-cybersecurity-signal-to-china 
https://theconversation.com/as-russia-wages-cyber-war-against-ukraine-heres-how-australia-and-the-rest-of-the-world-could-suffer-collateral-damage-177909  
https://www.gtlaw.com.au/knowledge/spice-australias-cyber-capabilities-what-we-know-so-far-about-project-redspice 
https://www.itnews.com.au/news/govt-tries-to-plug-small-business-systems-security-holes-with-cash-516406  

Statistics –  
https://www.cyber.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/ACSC%20Small%20Business%20Survey%20Report.pdf (page 17) 
https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/reports-and-statistics/acsc-annual-cyber-threat-report-2020-21   

Government Initiatives –  
https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/report/report-a-cyber-security-incident#no-back 
https://www.asd.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-03/ASD-REDSPICE-Blueprint.pdf 
https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/In-detail/Direct-taxes/Income-tax-for-businesses/Small-Business-Technology-Investment-Boost-and-Small-Business-Skills-and-Training-Boost/  
https://www.crestaustralia.org/approved.html  

Mark Saines

Mark Saines

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