Australia to convene world's cyber chiefs

Australia will host the world's top cyber chiefs after a series of recent high-profile attacks.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil will convene a counter-ransomware task force next year after nations across the globe agreed to the initiative in Washington this week.

Hackers stole the data of millions of Australians after attacking Optus and Medibank.

A communications system used by defence personnel was also targeted by ransomware.

"The cyber incident involving Medibank Private is a blunt reminder we need a globally focused capability to combat cyber threats, including ransomware," Ms O'Neil said.

"This international task force will enable sustained and impactful collaboration between international agencies to disrupt, combat and defend against the scourge of ransomware."

Invited nations include Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, the US, the UK, Ukraine and European countries.

But opposition cyber security spokesman James Paterson said the federal government needed to do more to attract cyber experts on the ground.

"Australia's major cyber challenge is the lack of qualified experts and skilled migration is a key part of addressing that challenge," he said.

"We need faster visa processing for cyber experts to make Australia a more competitive and attractive destination."