Tag Archives: cyber security

cyber security revenue

Australian cyber security revenue set to triple within a decade

Australian cyber security revenue will soar from A$2 billion in 2016 to A$6 billion by 2026. This comes as part of an upward trend in cyber security spending around the world. US$131 billion was spent on cyber security globally in 2017, with an 88 per cent increase expected by 2026.

With the second-highest ‘cyber maturity’ in the Indo-Pacific and strengths in core skill areas such as quantum computation, wireless technology and high-value hardware, Australia is the ideal growth environment for cyber security businesses.

The statistics have been published in the 2018 update to Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan and the first ever Australian Cyber Security Industry Roadmap; both launched on 28 November 2018 by the Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP.

The 2018 update to Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan was developed by AustCyber – the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, which is part of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative. The Plan indicates strong growth against the data outlined in the first iteration, released in April 2017, reflecting the rapid evolution of this dynamic sector.

The 2018 update draws on extensive industry consultation and research to provide a fresh picture of the global outlook, the challenges, and the opportunities and priority actions needed to grow a vibrant and globally competitive cyber security sector that enhances Australia’s future economic growth. It also provides a deep dive into the skills and workforce gap, which is one of the key issues impacting the sector’s growth.

The Australian Cyber Security Industry Roadmap brings together the expertise and networks of CSIRO Futures and AustCyber to identify a common vision and map out the road to success in the cyber security sector. World-class scientific and technological expertise is applied to steer business, government and society through the challenges we must navigate over the medium to long term, to seize opportunities across all Australian industries.

CEO of AustCyber, Michelle Price said, “As organisations increasingly rely on digital technologies and the cross sectoral flows of data, the need to protect people and assets from malicious cyber activity is growing. This strong demand for cyber security is creating substantial economic opportunities for Australia and is set to increase cyber security revenue.

“Cyber security is one of the most rapidly expanding sectors worldwide. The aim of the Sector Competitiveness Plan is to invigorate the cyber security industry across business, research and consumer segments to drive growth in the ecosystem, increase exports of Australian solutions, and support Australia to become the leading global centre for cyber security education.”

CSIRO’s Dr Shane Seabrook said, “Cyber security has never been more important, both as an enabler for Australian industry and as a source of economic growth itself. As we integrate data and digital technologies into everything we do, security will be key to our future economic success. International cyber security practices are yet to reach a uniform level – the time to position Australia as a best practice nation for cyber security is now.

“The Cyber Security Roadmap will guide immediate actions that can set the stage for long term success – simultaneously protecting Australia and enabling us to be agile, innovative and competitive on the global stage. We can build our cyber security industry with skills from our world-class education system, testbeds supported by our small but sophisticated market, and alignment with cultures and time zones in our geographic region.”

To help Australia’s cyber security sector pursue growth opportunities and increase cyber security revenue, the Cyber Security Roadmap focuses on digital opportunities likely to be adopted across Australia’s priority growth sectors: Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; Advanced Manufacturing; Oil and Gas; and Food and Agribusiness.

The Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan and Cyber Security Roadmap are available online.

This article was originally published by AustCyber.

Read more about about the Australian cyber security workforce and career opportunities in the Careers with STEM: Code + Cybersecurity Flip Special.

cyber security

Cyber warfare: a battle plan

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) 2016 Threat Report, just released, has some concerning details about the state of Australia’s cyber security. The report highlights the ubiquitous nature of cyber crime in Australia, the potential of cyber terrorism, and the vulnerability of data stored on government and commercial networks.

Several factors are driving these vulnerabilities. And there is considerable work to do to address them.

The cause

A big driver is the maturation and “professionalisation” of cyber criminals. They have businesses, plans, and online fora (support services offered in many languages). There are even services a potential criminal can easily hire – with botnets used for DDoS attacks going for as little as A$50. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, and involves attackers sending swarms of bots to overwhelm networks. Recently, DDoS attacks have been getting extremely powerful.

Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive of security group Kaspersky Lab, recently explained that:

“as the criminals mature in their operations, the criminals are now offering … “crime-as-a-service” … they are now moving to attacking transportation, and manufacturing … criminals are now hacking coal mine haulage trains, to steal coal or decreasing temperatures inside fuel tanks to steal 3% of fuel with every tank.”

The internet is a weapon

We have reached the stage at which the internet has been weaponised. This word was previously only used to discuss events such as Stuxnet, which was a cyber attack on an Iranian nuclear facility thought to be carried out by the United States and Israel. I would suggest we can extend this concept and realise that the internet’s corporate, personal and government systems now resemble weapons and weapon systems.

An old-fashioned criminal with a gun could hold up a bank and take customers’ money. Today’s criminal, depending on the size of their network-based “weapon”, can take our money, our data, our secrets, or disempower us by disabling our electricity, gas or water supply.

We are beyond a point of no return in our reliance on computers and networks, and the demand for innovation in technology is heightening our cyber security problem all the time.

So what should we do?

In a recent discussion paper, my colleague Greg Austin and I wrote:

“When it comes to addressing threats from advanced technologies, since Australia is a free and open society facing few enemies, and none that are powerful, the country has been … behind the pace. Awareness in the broader community and even in leadership circles of the threats from advanced technology is quite weak.”

We commended the Turnbull government, its innovation strategy, its Defence White Paper, and its Cyber Security Strategy. However, we also noted that:

“…there is a large gap between US assessments of advanced technology threats and the Australian government’s public assessments. These gaps have important policy implications, as well as negative impacts on the security and prosperity to Australians… The country’s education and training policy needs to make giant steps, of which an enhanced STEM approach is only one, and one that will have no strong pay-offs in the next decade at least.”

We are in a situation where Australia greatly lacks a trained and experienced cyber security workforce. Existing staff are fully stretched. We have only a trickle of students in the right disciplines in the VET and Higher Education pipelines. We also lack a local cyber security industry and we find that cyber security solutions are largely supplied by the United States, Israel, Europe, and Russia. We are forced to believe the vendors’ rhetoric rather than rely on local expertise.

A checklist for national cyber security

To remedy this situation we created a checklist for effective response to the cyber security situation that exists nationally:

  1. The states and Commonwealth should commit to a fast track process to set up a national cyber crime fighting unit to capture and convict more cyber criminals. This should include research staff, funded to at least $20 million per year for ten years.
  2. Australia needs to consider creating a National Cyber Security College to get focus and concentrate expertise. Such a body could help generate the following necessary actions:
  • Establish nationally approved undergraduate curricula across a range of disciplines in cyber security, using rewards to ensure that teaching is carried out to some national established standard.
  • Establish TAFE curricula at Certificate 1-6 since not all jobs are for graduates.
  • Determine a transition plan so professionals from a range of specified disciplines can be upskilled and converted into cyber security professionals.
  • Devise a dedicated, well-funded plan to generate the 8,000 to 10,000 cyber security professionals needed in the next few years.
  • Consider developing a private system and sector-specific initiatives for hybrid education initiatives around the country.

We would not leave our houses unlocked and allow criminals to walk in and steal our possessions. We now need to come up with clever ways of securing the cyber world and protecting Australians and our economy.

– Jill Slay

Director, Australian Centre for Cyber Security, UNSW Australia

This article was first published by The Conversation on October 12 2016. Read the original article here.

STEM talent

What can STEM learn from sport?

Australia is a passionate nation.

The recent Olympics triggered my thinking on how passionate we are about winning. I remember a time when Australia was unable to compete against the world class American, Russian and German teams.  Our nation reacted by establishing the government funded Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra (AIS). The AIS acknowledges they are responsible and accountable for Australia’s international sporting success. Australia’s top sporting talent is selected, nurtured, and trained for the purpose of competing against the world’s best. Their success is celebrated, and the cycle continues.

Growing the number of STEM experts in our workforce is no different. If Australia wants to be recognised as a world-class STEM nation, commitment to developing our talent through established strategic programs funded by sustainable investment is essential.

When measuring STEM talent, our focus is on numbers that come out of university. However, consider our athletes for a moment. They have already been training for the better part of a decade.  They don’t arrive at the institute ready to be trained. Junior athletics, swimming squads and after-school sport training are part of most schools and parents’ agenda to develop their children’s skills from a very young age.  If the success of sport is to be replicated for STEM disciplines, then school years should not be overlooked.

Creating a foundation for young women

Traditional education should always be respected and never replaced, however there is always room for flexibility and balance. My own career in IT was shaped by the foundations provided to me by my high school environment. The all-girls school I attended offered Computing Studies as a subject for the Higher School Certificate.  It was only the second year it was offered and approximately 20 students signed up.  It was here, along with my home environment of a tech-savvy family, where I developed foundations in IT.

I pursued a tertiary education in commerce as I initially had no interest in computer science. Nevertheless, my first significant role was working as a computer engineer in IT – a job I landed based on the foundational skills I had acquired through my high school studies. I had found a position where I was able to solve problems while continuing to learn and gain additional certifications. I was the only female in a team of 12, but I didn’t focus on the gender inequality at the time.

Developing Australia’s STEM talent

Innovation requires novel thinking and raising Australia’s STEM IQ to world-class requires a considered and committed long term strategy, including initiatives for supporting women in STEM.

I work for Deloitte in the technology industry alongside women who have studied econometrics, law, accounting, engineering and arts. Deloitte recognises the importance of driving Australia’s STEM agenda and (amongst other initiatives) have selected two female directors from cybersecurity and technology consulting to share their expertise and experiences with young Australian women through an online mentoring platform, Day of STEM.

Our aim is to inspire Australia’s future STEM generation and highlight the real-life opportunities available in professional services firms like Deloitte.

Elissa Hilliard

Partner, Risk Advisory, Deloitte Australia

Read next: Chair of ATSE’s Gender Equity Working Group, Dr Mark Toner, compares the national need for women in STEM with the barriers faced by women on a personal level.

People and careers: Meet women who’ve paved brilliant careers in STEM here, find further success stories here and explore your own career options at postgradfutures.com.

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