Forwarded from: Jamie Gillespie <jamieat_private> http://afr.com/it/2002/09/17/FFXPNOW956D.html By Rachel Lebihan Australian Financial Review Sept 17, 2002 The Federal Government is planning to bolster its security efforts by taking a whole-of-government membership of Australia's computer emergency response team, AusCERT. The chief executive of the National Office for the Information Economy, John Rimmer, last week said an agreement with AusCERT was likely and a decision would be made by year's end. The proposal is another vote of confidence in AusCERT, an arm of the University of Queensland which issues alerts and advisories to members regarding security vulnerabilities and attacks. It also comes at a time when the industry is tracking an increasing number of sophisticated virus attacks. The Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, which has 60 email servers around the country, said it intercepts around 1000 viruses a week at its email gateway. In one two-day period earlier this year, CSIRO tracked 20 million attempted virus attacks. "If we look back over the last two years, we can see that the issue of e-security for Commonwealth agencies has not gone away," Mr Rimmer told a security conference in Canberra. Mr Rimmer noted that the most recent report on internet security by the Australian National Audit Office found the current level of internet security insufficient. An agreement with AusCERT would give federal government agencies access to information that is more general than the system of alerts distributed by the Defence Signals Directorate, he said. "At a Federal Government level, DSD will remain central to our early warning alerts and advisory scheme for federal government agencies reports," he said. NOIE's general manager of regulatory issues, Tom Dale, said AusCERT would give federal agencies general resources, allowing DSD to focus more on critical and national issues at the high end of the scale. Mr Dale said there were a number of things that need to be negotiated with AusCERT, including cost and arrangements to ensure its services didn't cross over with those of DSD. With a number of federal agencies already AusCERT members, Mr Dale stressed that a whole-of-government agreement would be a more cost-effective arrangement. AusCERT general manager Graham Ingram confirmed he was in negotiations with the Federal Government, which will be the organisation's largest client if the deal goes ahead. Mr Ingram pointed out, however, that proposed funding from the Attorney-General's Department for an early warning security scheme for the Australian public would be a larger commitment by government to AusCERT. Mr Rimmer said that the early warning scheme, the National Information Security Advice Scheme, will assist in facilitating security awareness and behavioural change amongst Australian businesses. "It is expected that the enhanced early warning system will be targetted towards those companies who currently have very limited knowledge and resources about how to manage and make changes to protect their networks. This includes small to medium-sized enterprises but also many medium-sized companies that are part of Australia's national information infrastructure," Mr Rimmer said. The Attorney-General's Department said funding for the scheme was still being negotiated. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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