The reality of the world we live in today is one in which cyber operations are now the norm. Battlefields no longer exist solely as physical theatres of operation, but now also as virtual ones. Soldiers today can be armed not just with weapons, but also with keyboards. That in the modern world we have woven digital technology so intricately into our businesses, our infrastructure and our lives makes it possible for a nation-state to launch a cyberattack against another and cause immense damage—without ever firing a shot.
ACS’s aim in participating in this policy brief is to improve clarity of communication in this area. For Australia, both defensive and offensive cyber capabilities are now an essential component of our nation’s military arsenal, and a necessary step to ensure that we keep up with global players. The cyber arms race moves fast, so continued investment in cyber capability is pivotal to keep ahead of and defend against the latest threats, while being able to deploy our own capabilities when and where we choose.
So, too, is ensuring that we have the skills and the talent to drive cyber capabilities in Australia. This means attracting and keeping the brightest young minds, the sharpest skilled local talent and the most experienced technology veterans to drive and grow a pipeline of cyber specialists, and in turn help protect and serve Australia’s military and economic interests.