His statement came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament on Monday that a sophisticated state actor was behind the recent attack on the Parliament network, which also affected the three main political parties that are part of government and the Opposition.
"We need real skills development and acquisition in the Australian Public Service," Ramasundara said. "We need accountability, and more priority given to projects like the Australian Cyber Security Centre to ensure that Australia’s institutions are as well protected as is feasible."
He called for "real and serious consequences" for those who perpetrate these attacks but did not specify what those consequences should be.
"Our response shouldn’t end with naming and shaming. We should be very public about who hacked us and why," he said.
"But beyond that, we should be working with international partners to formulate a real response, with real teeth, to deter these kinds of actions in the future. This should not be the new normal."
He said in the interconnected world with more than millions of IoT devices, one was only as strong as the weakest link.
"Greater collaboration among government entities, key service providers and stakeholders is extremely important. At the same time we need effective programs to increase the awareness and educate staff, general public and our next generation to improve our cyber hygiene," Ramasundara said.
"The fact is that digital services, data and information management is a core function of government. State-sponsored and other hackers have access to various cyber arms at low cost and they continue to evolve their tactics. Our government need an immediate and comprehensive longer term plan to manage this accelerating risk.
"We have to raise the skill levels in critical technology roles, and demand enhanced capability and ICT professionalism within the public sector, which has become even more important and a matter of national security as cyber-attacks emerge as major threats to the nations worldwide.”