Friday June 1st
Protecting the central nervous systems of Critical Infrastructure
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, announced today that the Australian Government is conducting a series of workshops and executive sessions on cyber threats to supervisory and industrial control systems.
“These systems play a vital role in Australia's critical infrastructure,” Senator Coonan said.
Supervisory and industrial control systems are the 'central nervous system' for a vast array of sensors, alarms and switches that provide automated control and monitoring functions for critical infrastructure. They are typically used in the water, electricity, gas, transport, broadcasting and communications sectors.
“Many supervisory and industrial control systems were designed before the Internet became widely adopted. As these systems are being connected to the Internet they are being exposed to emerging IT security threats,” Senator Coonan said.
“I encourage Australian companies that operate these systems to attend these sessions for leading-edge advice on threats and vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies,” Senator Coonan said.
During the workshops a new information portal will be launched that will give Australian owners and operators of critical infrastructure a trusted environment for exchanging information and raise awareness of IT security issues for supervisory and industrial control systems.
The sessions will include presentations from visiting experts from the National Cyber Security Division of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The all-day practitioner workshops and one-hour executive sessions will be held in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide in June.
The workshops and executive briefings are part of an ongoing partnership between the Australian Government and industry for the protection of Australia’s critical infrastructure. The Australian Government has been working with industry on the security of these systems under the auspices of the Trusted Information Sharing Network, since 2005.
For further information on these initiatives call 02 6271 1238 or visit www.dcita.gov.au to register for the executive sessions or practitioner workshops.
Media Contact: Fiona Telford 02 6277 7480