Australian suffered a number of significant data breaches in the last two years. In response, the Australian Government released their Cyber Security Strategy late last year and it provides a peak to some of the cyber legislations that are upcoming. I’m going to provide my predictions on what changes we could potentially be seeing in 2024.

The first is ransomware, which the government is looking to address as part of its focus on “Strong Businesses and Citizens.” Forget “pay and pray” when it comes to ransomware. To enhance visibility, the government is planning a no-fault, no-liability ransomware reporting obligation for businesses. In addition, the government is taking a hard stance against rewarding cybercriminals. They’re looking to seriously discourage paying ransoms, potentially with financial penalties or public naming and shaming.

There’s also a focus on “Safe Technology.” Think of your smart fridge, your fitness tracker, that singing teddy bear for your kid – all those internet-connected gizmos. Well, the government’s saying, “Not so fast, Mr. Gadget!” They’re proposing a mandatory cyber security standard for these Internet of Things (IoT) devices, making sure they’re not flimsy fortresses against digital intruders. App developers and stores, you’re not off the hook either. A voluntary code of practice is brewing, with guidelines for secure app design and responsible data handling.

And finally, we can expect changes to the commonwealth legislative data requirements. The Australian government will be reviewing how much information businesses are required to retain. They recently completed a review of the Privacy Act and will be exploring options to minimise and simplify data retention requirements.

So, what does this all mean? Australia’s raising the cyber security bar, and businesses and techies need to keep up. New obligations, standards, and maybe even a few regulatory nudges are coming, all aiming to build a safer, more trusted digital space. This isn’t just about protecting infrastructure; it’s about protecting people. And that, is a win-win in our online world. That’s it from me, stay safe, stay savvy and stay secure.

This segment was created for the It’s 5:05 podcast