The government has named Mike Burgess as the new Director-General of Security for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), following the retirement of spy chief Duncan Lewis.

"His private sector experience puts him in good stead to take up this position," said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, praising Burgess for his background as Telstra chief information security officer and current leader of the Australia Signals Directorate (ASD), which Burgess will leave to take over ASIO from 15 September.

"In my current role I get to see ASIO very closely as they counter terrorism espionage and foreign interference.  It's an incredibly impressive organisation and more so the people who do that work.  They are professionals who work tirelessly and effortlessly to protect Australia from serious threats from where they operate in the shadows - they operate within the law," Burgess told media while announcing his new appointment.

He continued, "Leaving the Australian Signals Directorate will be difficult. I've had a productive 18 months, a rewarding time, but most importantly I will miss the staff - the clever, curious, committed individuals who belong to a great team, and like the staff at ASIO, truly make a difference in the security of our country."