Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has cut the ribbon on a new centre to consolidate and coordinate Australia's cyber security defences.
Australia is increasingly threatened by cyber attack, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says, and it's time to saddle up.
Flanked by senior ministers from portfolios dealing with Australia's defence, Mr Turnbull cut the ribbon on a new, national cyber security centre on Thursday.
"All these increasing cyber attacks have the hallmarks of a perfect cyber storm," Mr Turnbull told reporters and intelligence officials in Canberra.
"We must not and will not wait for a catastrophic cyber incident before we act to prevent future attacks."
The new building for the Australian Cyber Security Centre houses sections for classified and unclassified operations.
The centre has already seen off 14,000 cyber security incidents since 2016, at a rate of more than 16 a day.
"Attempted attacks are occurring every day," Mr Turnbull said.
"Billions of cyber events orchestrated by criminal and nation-state actors are aiming at the very heart of the Australian government."
The threat, Mr Turnbull said, was global with foreign governments among the most consistent offenders.
He cited the targeting of 33 Australian universities by an Iranian-based campaign targeting intellectual property and academic research.
Russian hackers interfering in elections were also a concern.
The global cost of cyber crime was estimated at $600 billion this year, with Australia's bill topping $7 billion.
The creation of the Home Affairs department, making the Australian Signals Directorate an independent agency and the launch of joint cyber security centres across the nation are all part of the government's cyber security plan.