Peter Malinauskas cuts cyber security budget by up to $24.1 million as threat increases

Peter Malinauskas cuts cyber security budget by up to $24.1 million as threat increases

Posted on: 16 November 2023

New Auditor General documents have revealed Peter Malinauskas slashed cyber security spending by up to $24 million - the shocking cuts uncovered just days after news of another major breach of sensitive SA data.

Following high-profile cyber security hacks on Super SA and SA Health, the Auditor General’s Annual Report into DPC shows its cyber security efforts were cut by up to $24.1 million - the equivalent of a whopping 39.7 per cent decrease in funding.

In recent weeks, the Malinauskas Labor Government was forced to disclose that 12,745 patients from the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) had their private medical records tampered with and or names and phone numbers compromised.

The announcement followed news - which the Malinauskas Labor Government kept hidden from South Australians for two months - that data of thousands of Super SA members were exposed to the dark web after a separate major cyber security breach.

The names, addresses, dates of birth and drivers licence details were compromised.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, described Peter Malinauskas’ reduction in South Australia’s cyber security defences as “irresponsible” and a “white flag to dangerous hackers”.

“Hackers pose a real and serious threat to South Australia’s cyber security, and it beggars belief that Peter Malinauskas would decrease investment from this crucial sector when we should be investing more,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Every government around the world is doubling down on cyber security measures to ensure that they protect their citizens most precious and sensitive data as more and more interactions with government are performed online.

“Last week with the entire Optus network down we saw just how reliant Australians are on digital technology and the mess it can cause when things go wrong.

“We need to know if the up to $24.1 million reduction in SA’s cyber security defence efforts is in any way linked to the recent breaches of Super SA and SA Health data?

“Peter Malinauskas must immediately reinforce the state’s cyber security defences and also assure South Australians that their data and private information is safe on his watch.”