The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) defends Australia from global threats and advances its national interests through the provision of foreign signals intelligence, cyber security and offensive cyber operations as directed by the Australian Government.
In its 2018-19 Corporate Plan the ASD outlines its key functions and operational objectives.
ASD has three key functions:
- Foreign signals intelligence informs the ASD’s decision making and enhances Australia’s security, including countering terrorism.
- Cyber security services combat cyber threats targeting Australia, including offshore cyber-enabled crime.
- Offensive cyber operations support military operations and disrupt threats to Australia’s national interests, including supporting ADF operations globally and in the Indo-Pacific.
Key strategic objectives of the ASD are to:
- Provide intelligence that protects and advances Australia’s national interests
- Foster national cyber security resilience
- Support military operations
- Counter cyber-enabled threats and crime, and disrupting terrorists’ use of the internet
- Provide expertise and trusted advice to Government, law enforcement, business and the community.
On 1 July 2018, ASD became a statutory agency. This was one of the most significant changes in the organisation’s history. As part of this enabling legislation, ASD received three new functions: to provide cyber security advice and assistance to businesses and individuals, to prevent and disrupt offshore cyber-enabled crime and to protect the specialised tools ASD uses to fulfil its functions.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has also been integrated into the ASD to assist in effectively responding to Australia’s increasingly threatening cyber security environment.
Due to the increasingly challenging operating environment, ASD emphasises fostering strong relationships with the Australian national security community, its overseas intelligence partners, academia and industry.