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From security to 'cyber bootcamp': What we learned from #CensusFailIt was the survey that stopped a nation, but the 2016 Census also taught us a great deal -- including how not to handle a massive cyber security screw up.
Remember Census Night? The night we were supposed to press pause and take stock of our lives as Australians? On August 9, 2016, after being live for just a few hours, the census website went down and then stayed down for 43 hours. It was less of a press pause and more of a eject the videotape and smash it repeatedly against the wall situation. Now the government has released two reports on #censusfail. And here are five things we discovered from the wreckage. Turns out our government bureaucrats just don't really get cybersecurity. So the PM's top advisor on cybersecurity says, they need to be put In cyber bootcamp. He really said that. Turns out that first ignoring the problem, then taking to Facebook to blame all those Australians that were going online to fill out their form, was not actually a good way to engage with the public. The ABS had a plan to deal with social media complaints. The cleverly called, yet ultimately useless Social media crisis escalation matrix. But they decided that only accounts with over 10,000 Twitter followers were worthy of being taken seriously. So how did the ABS deal with even the most high priority of complainants? They ignored them completely. So, here's what actually happened. They were also attacked but the ABS and IBM haven't found adequate testing and couldn't really explain or account for the strange network traffic. Worried that your personal information was going overseen, they took the census sites down. The ABS and IBM did date of testing but for a total of 10 minutes after the site was already online. And finally Turns out that giving Australians very little warning about plans to keep their name and address for the first time and to keep this information for four years, and they're not really keeping the public informed about what went wrong, turns out census fail was one of the biggest fails in 2016. [MUSIC]