The WA Government is establishing a new whole-of-government Cyber Security Operations Centre.

The Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s Office of Digital Government will run the new centre, with $1.8 million put towards what ICT minister Dave Kelly describes as “the first of its kind in Australia”.

“During COVID-19 we’ve seen a rise in malicious cyber activity in terms of frequency, scale and sophistication,” he said this week.

“The new operations centre will provide unprecedented visibility of threats against agencies’ networks, as well as improve the state government’s ability to coordinate and respond to cyber security threats against our systems.”

The model is similar to moves in New South Wales, where the government recently established a Cyber Security Vulnerability Management Centre in Bathurst, which began operating in July.

In Western Australia, TAFE and university students participating in the Office of Digital Government’s cyber security unit integrated learning program will be offered further work and training through the new centre.

The WA Department of Health was hacked using a third-party pager service earlier this year.

The Office of Digital Government has been investigating whether such breaches have been occurring in other areas of the state government.