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Aussie channel reacts to leadership change at the top

Aussie channel reacts to leadership change at the top

Changes impacting cyber security specialists

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Credit: Liberal Party - Facebook

Australia's 30th Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, was sworn in last week but days of politically instability leading to his appointment has created uncertainty among businesses.

One of the changes felt, especially among the cyber security community, was that former minister for law enforcement and cyber security Angus Taylor resigned from his role 23 August.

Taylor had been appointed following a ministerial cabinet reshuffle in December 2017, taking place roughly 18 months after the then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull released the Federal Government’s national cyber security strategy.

"The maintenance of our security online and the protection of freedom online are not only compatible but reinforce each other," Turnbull stated at the time. "A secure cyber space provides trust and confidence for individuals, business and the public sector to share ideas and information and to innovate online."

The cyber security industry is now looking at Morrison to continue the work initiated by Turnbull's cyber security strategy.

"MailGuard has enjoyed great support from the Turnbull Government, including the completion of Australia’s First Cyber Security Strategy and the appointment of our first Minister for Cyber Security," Mailguard CEO and founder Craig McDonald told ARN.

"Cyber security is increasingly recognised as the number one threat to our national and economic security. Criminals are choosing email to attack our businesses and government institutions.

"The whole sector is looking to Scott Morrison, and his new government, to continue this important work."

Fast forward to the present and Morrison has announced his new cabinet choosing to not appoint a replacement for Taylor, and instead rolling the cyber security functions into the Department of Home Affairs, re-appointing Peter Dutton to the role of minister for Home Affairs in the process.

""I want to acknowledge the efforts of Angus Taylor, Alan Tudge and Alex Hawke who contributed significantly to the success of this portfolio in recent years," Dutton said after being sworn in. "We worked well together and I was very proud of the work we undertook as a team.

"I will assume the responsibilities previously handled by Angus Taylor including cyber security and critical infrastructure."

Channel impact

In response to the leadership change, EMT Distribution talked about concerns of the impact that the instability generated with the push to end the Turnbull's Government could cause to the business.

"While it’s hard to know the business impact yet, given it has only been days after the Red Wedding in Canberra, the situation would be most disturbing for Airlock Digital, our Australian-developed application whitelisting solution,” EMT Distribution CEO Richard Rundle told ARN.

"Malcolm Turnbull did some excellent things in the cyber security space and I’m seriously hoping there is no loss of momentum around all the efforts put into the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), the Joint Cyber Security Centre (JCSC) program and legislation to tighten our defences."

Meanwhile, ManageNet vice president of sales Michael Cefai said he sees "no immediate impact" affecting the hosting solutions provider.

"One of ManageNet's main pillars of business is our data centre hosting services division and as many of our customers are corporate and state based government agencies there is little or no impact right now," Cefai told ARN.

However, Cefai explained that as the company expands into providing software-as-a-service solutions into the Federal Government sector in the near future, the instability caused by the Government reshuffle could result in project delays.

"I don’t believe in a single point of success or failure thus we at ManageNet have diversified our solution stack and are focusing on multiple market verticals," he explained.

"These include health, transport and logistics, higher education, to name a few, to build a robust business model for significant growth with our existing and new alliance partners."


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