Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    Internet security a Government priority

    15/10/2000 9:00 AM

    A new State Government initiative aims to protect public sector computer systems from hackers and ensure privacy for citizens and businesses dealing with government.

    Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan said information technology and online services using the Internet greatly increased the Government’s ability to provide quality services to the community, but it also brought new risks.

    “Online services are rapidly improving Western Australians’ access to government for a wide range of information and assistance, for paying bills, tendering for contracts and for receiving payments,” Mr Cowan said.

    “However, these systems need to be secured from unauthorised access to information, fraud and ‘hackers’.

    Mr Cowan said Cabinet had adopted A Security Management Framework for Online Services developed jointly by the Department of Commerce and Trade and the Department of Contract and Management Services.

    He said the Framework identified major objectives for security management:

    • Authentication – ensuring that people sending or receiving messages are who they claim to be;
    • Availability – ensuring that access to normally available services is not disrupted by hackers;
    • Confidentiality – protecting stored and transmitted information from unauthorised access;
    • Integrity – protecting electronically transmitted information from being altered or lost; and -
    • Non-repudiation – assuring that sending and receipt of information can be confirmed.

    Mr Cowan said the Framework document outlined basic tools for security management which would be equally useful to businesses involved in e-commerce.

    “Most of these security issues are well understood in terms of internal information systems, but the new Framework brings together the best available practices for operating in an online environment,” he said.

    “In addition, Cabinet has established a working party to help government agencies meet the highest standards of security management and has supported a proposal that Chief Executive Officers will have primary responsibility for systems security in government agencies.”

    Copies of the document A Security Management Framework for Online Services are available in PDF format from the Electronic Commerce Centre at or in hard copy by calling the Business Assistance Gateway on 9481 2525, or freecall from the country 1800 199 251, or e-mail gatewaywa@commerce.wa.gov.au

    Media Contact: Peter Jackson 9222 9595