5 minutes with Tony Chapman NSW Chief Cyber Security Officer
Can you tell us about your organisation and its purpose?
Cyber security is a critical component of safeguarding public information, assets and delivery of services to NSW customers. Cyber Security NSW, within the Digital.NSW division of the Department of Customer Service, is the whole-of-government (WoG) function leading the ongoing enhancement and uplift of cyber security capabilities across NSW Government.
The branch provides an integrated, WoG approach to assist NSW Government agencies in preventing and responding to cyber security threats. This relies on close collaboration with a host of NSW agencies, emergency management, law enforcement, the private sector and other jurisdictions.
Cyber Security NSW services include:
- proactive and targeted intelligence to warn of likely threats in the local context, with recommended mitigation actions
- incident response, coordination and initial investigation for reported incidents infrastructure security and vulnerability management, including ‘Essential Eight’ maturity health checks, password hygiene assessment, penetration testing services and external vulnerability scanning
- advice and guidance to assist clusters, agencies and local councils in implementing best-practice cyber risk management
- cyber security training sessions, to upskill staff and contractors across NSW Government
- WoG cyber security policy development, management and implementation.
Who are your key customers?
Cyber Security NSW provides services to all NSW Government entities, including local councils. NSW Government delivers critical services to the public and holds a wealth of customer data, so ensuring our entities have robust cyber security is vitally important to our NSW customers.
What are you most proud of this year?
Cyber Security NSW has achieved so much this year that it’s difficult to limit it to just a few. We updated the NSW Cyber Security Policy in 2022, and are in the final stages of updating the NSW Cyber Security Emergency Sub Plan and the NSW Cyber Incident Response Arrangements. The revision of these frameworks aligns NSW to industry best practice, ensuring readiness in the current threat environment.
In terms of uplifting employee capability, we recently held our largest whole-of-government capture-the-flag event, which helps build government employees’ cyber security skills and understanding. As of end-September, over 133,000 staff completed our cyber security awareness training e-modules this calendar year alone.
Last year one of our greatest wins was rolling out a domain-based messaging authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC) tool to all agencies, helping ensure NSW Government remains a trusted sender of emails. This year we have made great progress in providing this to local councils as well.
A lot of the operations work of the branch is classified, but we have provided urgent support to a vast number of NSW Government entities that have been impacted by cyber incidents. We produced the first NSW Government Cyber Threat Report, where we analysed every cyber incident reported in order to extract insights that can guide our approach moving forward.
We co-hosted the first Cyber Insights Series with Minister Dominello, which brought together cyber security experts from government, the private sector and academia to devise solutions for some of the biggest cyber security challenges facing the industry. Next year I’ll be able to provide an update on how these insights and ideas have been actioned.
Established in 2020, Cyber Security NSW has had to grow rapidly to provide much-needed assistance to NSW Government entities. In 2022 we were able to take some time to reflect on our current operating model and assess how we could adjust our operations to ensure that we are adding the maximum possible value. I look forward to implementing the business case that is under development in 2023.
What are your headwinds?
While one part of our work involves readying NSW Government entities to respond effectively, we also help entities prevent cyber security incidents, which is difficult to measure. We therefore track our progress through the mandatory reporting of all NSW Government entities against the NSW Cyber Security Policy. While we are a relatively new branch, we have already helped entities improve their cyber security maturity, by providing a wide-ranging suite of services that work in conjunction to enhance many facets of cyber security.
Most visited App?
I’m an aviation geek, so my favourite app is Flightradar24, a real-time aircraft flight tracker. Living in the Southern Highlands, I’m always interested in where the planes flying overhead are going. On average, they arrive overhead around 8-11 minutes after departing from Sydney airport. The most common routes are Sydney to Melbourne, Hobart to Sydney, and Brisbane to Canberra.
On weekends, I enjoy ...
Being in the garden, mowing the lawn and spending time with Teddy, my Airedale Terrier.