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  • ITS news
  • Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy

31 October 2019

Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy

ITS Australia



In September 2019, the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs published a call for views on its 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. This new strategy will be the successor to Australia’s landmark 2016 Cyber Security Strategy, which set out the Government’s 4-year plan to advance and protect Australian interests online backed by a $230 million investment. In response to the call for views, ITS Australia prepared the following submission.


ITS Australia sincerely appreciates the opportunity the federal government has provided to make a submission on this important and timely issue. As a peak body representing industry in the transport and technology sector we concur with the determination in the 2020 Cyber Security Strategy Discussion Paper that the threat environment has changed significantly since 2016 and industry and government need to adapt and consider a range of approaches to prepare and secure against these threats.

With more than 1,200 people dying and over 30,000 people being seriously injured each year on Australia’s roads, the only long‐term goal we can have is for zero fatal and serious injuries. To that end, we believe connected and cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems and automated vehicle technology are the key safety initiatives to achieving that ambitious goal. These potentially life‐saving technologies though also come with additional challenges to consider.

Our transportation networks are national critical infrastructure and we concur with the government’s position that the most impactful threats are those against our essential services and networks, including energy, water, telecommunications and transport. While recognising that an impenetrable and perfectly safe system or network is an unobtainable though aspirational goal, security by design and a clear‐eyed assessment of our threat models is key. Governments role in this should be to ensure all approaches to establish our cyber security foundations be a national one that also acknowledges the role both domestic and foreign actors may play.

While our transportation network operates within Australian borders our digital network and the channels through which our increasingly connected vehicle fleet communicate and cooperate may not be in Australia.

IHS Markit are suggesting 90 percent of vehicles will be internet connected by 2023. There are potentially significant safety and congestion benefits from these vehicles, as well as the cooperative vehicles. More than 11.2 million light vehicles equipped with some form of Vehicle‐to‐Everything (V2X) system will be produced globally in 2024, representing 12 percent of the light vehicle fleet. It is expected that production of light vehicles equipped with V2X systems will be just under 15,000 units in 2019 and will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 277.5 percent in 2024.

Telematics systems are a major factor in changing the automobile from a collection of analogue control systems to a fully networked and connected digital car, where software‐defined functionality can be remotely changed, corrected and updated. Telematics systems also add connectivity‐based applications that make the average vehicle safer and more fuel efficient, as well as help to correct common driver errors. As a result, telematics can bring many benefits to various parties including consumers, auto manufacturers, dealers, communities and more. As the telematics market grows, the automotive industry is facing new challenges and issues that need to be solved.

Cybersecurity is one of the most important issues in the connected vehicle era. Since the role of telematics increases in importance as connectivity becomes essential for V2X and automated vehicles in the future, the automotive industry is working to find and develop solutions to protect its telematics systems from cyber‐attacks in the future, and must continue these efforts as technologies continue to advance. ITS Australia supports the Governments position that security built in ‘by‐design’ is a foundational principle and a transparent, open, competitive and trusted market of secure technologies, products, services and professionals is critical for improving cyber security outcomes.

It is critical that Governments establish very clear regulations which are performance-based, to ensure that the increased deployment of connectivity in vehicles is guided to improve the safety and quality of life of the community.

As a peak body that represents national and international organisations, we strongly support an approach that works towards harmonisation and cross‐jurisdictional considerations and we are keen to be involved in these ongoing discussions.


The safety of our citizens is paramount, and ITS and driver assistance technologies are clearly saving lives on our roads now. Emerging and future technologies will in our view provide enhanced in‐vehicle and network safety, however the deployment of these technologies needs government consideration and oversight.

Industry is keen to work with government to best deliver these life‐saving technologies, and ITS Australia is well placed to facilitate these discussions. ITS Australia commends the Federal Government and the Office of Home Affairs in continuing the important work of better understanding Australia’s cybersecurity challenges
and engaging with industry and the community in the development of this strategy.

This work is crucial in planning for the future of transport and producing the policy and regulatory frameworks in which they operate. Importantly, this needs to be carried out in consultation with industry and the community to build understanding and consensus on these exciting opportunities.

As a peak body that represents national and international ITS organisations, we strongly support an approach that works towards harmonisation and cross‐jurisdictional considerations. This includes factoring in the importance of standards and their potential impacts, particularly relevant are ISO and European
standards which will at the very least have some elements of security for adoption.

Read more of ITS Australia's Statements & Submissions

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