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Wednesday, 28 June 2017 16:19

Opportunities for Australian cyber security sector

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According to Australian Cyber Security Growth Network chiuef executive Craig Davies, there are three big opportunities facing the local cyber security sector.

Australian cyber security researchers are highly regarded overseas, according to Davies, and Australia needs a sovereign cyber security capability, as well as opportunities for skilled people to do new work without leaving the country.

"We want to create a vibrant industry," he told CSIRO's D61Live event in Melbourne, and suggested three ways this could be achieved.

Firstly, the aim should be to grow the entire Australian cyber security ecosystem, not just parts of it. He suggested commercialisation pathways are particularly important, so there are ways for small firms to work with government, and ways to make it easier for businesses to find Australian security products.

Secondly, "we cannot be successful selling to ourselves," he said – exports are essential. What's required is a way to make Australian products known to potential buyers overseas.

Thirdly, Australia needs to become a leading centre for cyber security education. He identified successes such as Box Hill TAFE as well as the Oceania Cyber Security Centre (backed by eight Victorian universities and the state government). The sector needs to develop new pathways to entry, so that behavioural scientists and data scientists, among others, are encouraged to consider the opportunities in cyber security.

The country also needs to build on its ability to educate foreign students. "We do it quite well," he said, but while the researchers are in place we need to make it easier for prospective students.

These aren't the only concerns of the Network. "We're looking to find every single lever we can pull" in order to create a local cyber security ecosystem, train more people, get them into local companies, and bring expat specialists back home, said Davies.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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