Australia cybersecurity head resigns

The head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Alastair MacGibbon, will resign at the end of the electoral cycle.

Mr MacGibbon will return to the private sector in a move that some fear may signal a period of potential uncertainty for the Australian government’s cyber security development.

The cyber chief took the helm at the ACSC in January 2018, when the body became part of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). MacGibbon was also National Cyber Security Adviser at the Department of Home Affairs (DHA), where he oversaw the implementation of the government’s Cyber Security Strategy.

In a statement, ASD director-general, Mike Burgess, said that MacGibbon will leave “a considerable legacy”, and underlined that the resignation would be received with a heavy heart.

Mr Burgess said:

“Alastair has been a fierce advocate for the importance of cyber security for the community, businesses and governments. He is indeed the face of cyber security in Australia and, through his leadership, helped raise the nation’s cyber security standards.

“Alastair believes the end of the electoral cycle is an appropriate time for renewal,” he added.

While at the ACSC, MacGibbon led the transition of varying governmental arms into the independent ASD, as the organisation developed into a statutory authority.

He was also in charge through the finalisation of the network of Joint Cyber Security Centres (JCSC) for collaboration with the private sector, a restructuring of the government’s Information Security Manual (ISM) and an improvement of access controls for government systems within a new Essential Eight Maturity Model.

Before taking up his role at the ACSC, MacGibbon was Special Adviser on Cyber Security to the then-Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull.

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