Australia released an updated cybersecurity strategy that will rely more heavily on public-private partnerships to support the country’s cyber defense efforts.

The strategy, first released as a discussion draft in February, applies to the years 2023-30 and is “game-changing for Australia’s cybersecurity,” said the country’s Department of Home Affairs in a Nov. 22 announcement.

The strategy aims to shift cybersecurity from a technical topic to a national endeavor that will benefit citizens and businesses. It will include stronger public-private partnerships, the Australian government said.

The government will detail new initiatives for it to work with industry on cybersecurity, including potential updates on legislation such as the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, in a consultation paper expected to be released in the near future. The consultation period will run until March.

“This consultation is a clear step towards the Australian government’s commitment to shepherding a new era of genuine public-private co-leadership to enhance Australia’s cybersecurity and resilience,” said the Department of Home Affairs.

The cybersecurity strategy is based on six “shields” to provide additional layers of defense, said Clare O’Neil, minister for home affairs and cybersecurity, in the document. The shields include:

  1. Strong businesses and citizens;
  2. Safe technology;
  3. World-class threat sharing and blocking;
  4. Protected critical infrastructure;
  5. Sovereign capabilities; and
  6. Resilient region and global leadership.

Cybersecurity has been a popular topic in Australia following a spate of high-profile data breaches affecting Australian consumers, including at telecommunications giant Optus and health insurer Medibank. The country last year passed a bill to increase the maximum penalty for serious or repeated data breaches to 50 million Australian dollars (U.S. $33 million) from AUD$2.2 million (U.S. $1.5 million).

“The strategy is bold and ambitious—and it has to be,” said O’Neil. “Because one thing is abundantly clear from what’s happened to our cyber environment in the last five years: We simply can’t continue as we are.”

The cyber strategy was written with input from more than 700 stakeholders, O’Neil said.

“We want to remain the security partner of choice for nations in the Pacific family. We’ve consulted closely with our regional partners to understand their unique cyber challenges,” she said.