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Cyber security to ramp up in defence

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016

Cyber security in Australia will need to go to a "whole new plain" as defence work on new submarines, frigates and patrol boats ramps up, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne says.

Companies wishing to secure work in Australia's growing defence sector may need to beef up cyber security measures to ensure they can take advantage of the business opportunities on offer, Mr Pyne said.

"Because of the big ramp-up of local activity in the defence industry there will need to be a lot more focus on cyber security," the minister said.

"What we've seen overseas and sometimes here in Australia is that those countries who would like to find out what we're doing in terms of defence, try and get through industry rather than through government.

"They might therefore try to find a way into a business that might end up in the supply chain."

Mr Pyne said the federal government planned to increase spending on security measures and would be willing to help some companies make necessary improvements.

But he said to some extent ensuring adequate levels of cyber protection would be the cost of doing business.

"It's obviously going to be a two-way street," the minister said.

"We're not going to be able to simply support every business who thinks the panacea to their particular problems is defence industry contracts.

"It's a competitive market but the whole purpose of much of the spending is to bring Australian defence companies to the point where they can supply, not just believe that can supply."

The minister's comments came as he opened the new Centre for Defence Industry Capability in Adelaide which will give companies across the country direct access to tailored support and advice to help them meet Australia's defence needs.

The commonwealth will provide $230 million in funding for the centre over the next decade as part of its commitment to develop Australian defence technologies, enhance global competitiveness and grow export opportunities.

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