Victoria Appoints First Chief Information Security Officer

The Andrews Labor Government has appointed its first Chief Information Security Officer as the next step in keeping government services and information safe from cyber threats.

The Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings today announced that Mr John O’Driscoll had been appointed to the role.

Mr O’Driscoll has 20 years’ experience in information technology, with a focus on cyber security in financial services and the public sector. He was previously the Senior Manager, Information and Technology Risk at ANZ.

Government networks across the world are regularly targeted by cyber-attacks, with an increasing shift from unsophisticated lone cyber hackers towards organised criminals, political ‘hacktivists’ and even foreign governments using cyber space to infiltrate, steal from and disrupt government services.

The appointment of a Chief Officer was a key component of the Labor Government’s Cyber Security Strategy, released in August this year. The strategy shifts Victoria’s cyber security approach from an agency by agency approach to a whole of government approach, to better protect public services and information.

The Chief Officer will focus on leading collaboration across Victoria’s departments and agencies helping with ongoing work to assess, monitor and respond to cyber security risks, as well as engaging with Commonwealth and private sector experts to deliver a resilient and cohesive cyber security environment.

Other key actions from the Cyber Security Strategy that will be led by the CISO include:

  • Develop cyber emergency governance arrangements with Emergency Management Victoria, so that risks are better understood and planned for as part of ongoing work to protect government assets and services
  • Strengthening partnerships across all levels of government and the private sector to share best practice, intelligence and insights
  • Rationalising and better co-ordinating the procurement of proven cyber security services
  • Developing a workforce plan to attract, develop and retain skilled cyber security public sector workers
  • Presenting a quarterly cyber security briefing to the Victorian Secretaries Board and the State Crisis and Resilience Committee, so government is better informed of cyber security issues and assessments.

To find out more about Cyber Security Strategy and ongoing work to roll out the Information Technology Strategy 2016-2020, visit enterprisesolutions.vic.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Special Minister of State Gavin Jennings

“John O’Driscoll’s extensive experience working across information technology and cyber security make him ideally suited to be Victoria’s first Chief Information Security Officer, as we seek to secure government services.”

As organised crime and others become more sophisticated in hacking and disrupting digital services, it’s crucial government steps up to better protect our public services and information – John will help us do just that.”