Cybersecurity and the NSW Budget 2021-22

I looked for the cybersecurity line items in the NSW budget so you don’t have to

Initial thoughts

Despite the recent release of the NSW Government’s updated Cyber Security Strategy, very little cyber has actually made it into the budget. While the budget includes $500 million of additional funding allocated to the $2.1 billion Digital Restart Fund, only about $30 million in total appears to have been allocated to cyber.

Allocating 6% of what is supposedly a digital transformation spend to cyber is not proportionate to the cyber risk that the NSW Government is exposed to on a daily basis. Much more needs to be done, and this budget does not do enough to make the required impact towards a truly cyber resilient NSW.

The only caveat to note is that the NSW Ministry of Health has a “Health Cyber Uplift” line item where the cost is not declared, citing commercial sensitivities.

Spend

Here is a breakdown of the cybersecurity-related items in the budget:

  • Service NSW: $3,189,000 for their Cyber Security Upgrade Program. Percentage of spend as a proportion of “Total Works” — 12.8%.
  • Ministry of Health: Undeclared amount for their Health Cyber Uplift. Percentage of spend as a proportion of “Total Works” — N/A.
  • Department of Planning, Industry and Environment: $2,154,000 for their Cyber Security Uplift Program. Percentage of spend as a proportion of “Total Works” — 0.34%.
  • Department of Communities and Justice: $7,356,000 for Cyber Security Enhancements. Percentage of spend as a proportion of “Total Works” — 0.81%.
  • NSW Police Force: $4,311,000 for their Cyber Security Transformation Program. Percentage of spend as a proportion of “Total Works” — 1.11%.
  • Essential Energy: $10,291,000 on Cybersecurity. Percentage of spend as a proportion of “Total Works” — 1.72%.

Ian Yip is the CEO of Avertro, a venture-backed cybersecurity software company. Avertro CyberHQ is a Cyber Management Decision System that helps leaders manage the business of cyber using defensible insights to determine what is essential.

Cyber Risk. Cybersecurity. Business. Tech. Entrepreneur. CEO at Avertro. Former CTO at McAfee Asia Pacific.