The WA government will establish a cyber security operations centre to coordinate its response to cyber security incidents and improve visability over the network threats facing agencies.

The government plans to set up the centre, complete with an undisclosed number of new cyber security experts, using $1.8 million in next week’s 2020-21 state budget.

IT minister Dave Kelly said the whole-of-government centre was a first of its kind and is expected to give the government “unprecedented visibility of threats against agencies’ networks”.

It will also improve the government’s ability to detect and respond to cyber security incidents, which have increased since the pandemic began.

“During COVID-19 we’ve seen a rise in malicious cyber activity in terms of frequency, scale and sophistication,” Kelly said in a statement.

The centre will be managed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s Office of Digital Government, which already has a dedicated cyber security team.

That team will now be expanded, with the government today opening applications for a “whole-of-government pool of cyber security experts”.

iTnews has contacted Kelly’s office for additional detail on the scale of the recruitment.

Successful applicants will either be placed in the new operation centre, another team within the Office of Digital Government’s cyber security unit or the wider public sector.

The centre is also expected to be used to train TAFE and university students participating in the Office of Digital Government’s ‘work integrated learning program’.

The Office of Digital Government has placed a focus on cyber security since replacing the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer in June 2018.

When it is launched, the operation centre will be one of only a handful across the states and territories.

In June, the NSW government established a cyber security vulnerability management centre to provide similar awareness of vulnerabilities across government. 

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