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Tuesday, 10 September 2019 10:18

NAB, La Trobe University join forces in cyber security alliance Featured

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National Australia Bank and La Trobe University have come together in a strategic alliance to deliver research, teaching and workforce development in cyber security.

As part of the alliance agreement — which will be signed at the Victorian Parliament building today — NAB general manager Cyber Security and Chief Information Security Officer, Nicholas McKenzie, will join the La Trobe Cybersecurity Executive Advisory Board.

NAB and La Trobe say the strategic alliance is the first step in the new partnership to tackle cyber security and build ongoing opportunities for both institutions and their client networks.

The new strategic alliance also includes the potential for NAB and La Trobe to co-invest in innovative and shared facilities, including a Security Operations Centre (SOC) and/or Cyber Laboratory in the future.

The new agreement will include:

Research and development

  • NAB will work with La Trobe researchers to develop technical solutions, leading to commercialisation opportunities, in cyber intelligence, protection, digital forensics, reverse engineering, malware detection and response.

Learning, teaching and graduate recruitment

  • NAB will contribute to La Trobe’s sector-leading cyber security curriculum as a new member of the Optus La Trobe Cybersecurity Hub Advisory Committee and by specialist staff teaching into the Master of Cybersecurity as guest or sessional lecturers.
  • NAB will propose operational, technical, legal and business research questions for La Trobe Masters by coursework students (to undertake as capstone projects within their degree programs).
  • NAB will provide scholarships and internships to high-achieving, employment-eligible students with the aim of adding to the future workforce pipeline.

Workforce development

  • La Trobe and NAB will collaborate on developing new cyber training short courses for NAB and other staff, based on NAB and clients’ problems.
  • La Trobe will provide NAB staff with professional short courses, and opportunities for Research Higher Degree and Masters by Coursework, programs, including La Trobe’s Master of Cybersecurity program, which takes a multidisciplinary approach to ever-evolving cyber threats and enables students to become skilled cyber security professionals.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar welcomed the new collaboration, saying now more than ever it was critical that universities and industry work together to meet the pressing challenges of cyber security threats.

“La Trobe University is already at the forefront of research, teaching and policy development though the establishment of the Optus La Trobe Cybersecurity Research Hub,” he said.

“We are delighted to join forces with NAB as one of Australia’s leading banks to create new knowledge, find solutions for industry problems, and train the cyber workforce of the future.

"Partnering with NAB will provide us with an added level of invaluable expertise. We are already researching the latest malware detection and sensing techniques, and the opportunity to expand this research to areas such as data detection and forensics analysis will benefit all Australians.”

NAB chief enterprise security officer David Fairman said: “This partnership marks an important step towards furthering the cyber security capabilities within academia and industry alike.

"At NAB, we have a mature security practice, with protecting customers at the very heart. We’re thrilled to join forces with La Trobe to gain deeper insights, identify threats more effectively and help shape the future curriculum for the next generation.”

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