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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

MTAA and academic experts applaud Cyber Security Strategy amid escalating threats

Health Industry Hub | November 23, 2023 |

In a bid to fortify the nation against escalating cyber threats, the Australian Government has unveiled its highly anticipated 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy. The release of this strategy has garnered a positive response from various sectors, including the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) which commended the government’s proactive stance in addressing critical cybersecurity issues.

The Strategy’s emergence closely follows the MTAA’s Digital Health Report, a publication that underscored the pressing national issue of cybersecurity, urging immediate action. Highlighting the growing peril cyber-attacks pose to healthcare, the report outlined significant security breaches that have adversely impacted Australians.

Ian Burgess, CEO of MTAA, expressed appreciation for the Government’s commitment to health-specific cybersecurity, applauding the allocation of $4.9 million towards establishing a robust threat-sharing platform dedicated to the health sector.

Mr Burgess emphasised “As the world we live in continues to be enveloped by digital technologies, the risks that come with the benefits of such changes requires real and coordinated responses from government and industry to protect information and people.”

He further lauded the government’s adoption of a recommendation akin to Singapore’s Cyber Security Labelling Scheme (CLS), a voluntary regulation devised in consultation with industry experts.

He remarked “This directly aligns with Australia’s own Strategy ‘to help consumers make informed choices about the security of devices on the market.”

Representing over 100 MedTech companies in Australia, MTAA has called for unified cybersecurity provisions across the supply chain, advocating for standardised measures to fortify the industry against cyber threats.

Professor Matthew Warren, Director of the RMIT Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation, also praised the strategy’s multifaceted approach.

“The new National Cyber Security Strategy targets critical areas, aiming to support small and medium businesses, strengthen critical infrastructure, enhance government cybersecurity, activate global resilience initiatives, and protect and respond against ransomware attacks,” stated Professor Warren.

He further elaborated on the strategy’s emphasis on the role of universities in fostering sovereign capability and innovation through research.

“We are living in the new cyber normal. This strategy is a pivotal step towards securing Australia against the evolving cyber threats we face in our increasingly digital world. Unlike previous national cyber security strategies, this strategy clearly defines what success looks like and the three phases of implementation needed to get to a successful outcome,” he added.

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