New Defence Minister Peter Dutton believes cyber attacks are the new war frontier faced by countries around the world.
As Mr Dutton was being switched from his long-time ministry of Home Affairs last week, the Nine Network suffered the largest cyber attack on a media company in history, while Parliament House had to pull the plug on the federal email system.
Mr Dutton said such attacks on government and commercial enterprise have been around for a long time.
"We have invested significantly in this space," he told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.
"People need to understand the significance of this threat online."
He said more areas of people lives are moving online.
"We need to protect ourselves from criminal gangs, to protect ourselves from state actors as well, and that is a very significant frontier and into the future."