cyber daily logo

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter

Breaking news and updates daily. Subscribe to our Newsletter X facebook linkedin Instagram Instagram

Industry and academics respond to $5bn Microsoft investment in Australia

Tech giant Microsoft has announced a massive investment in Australian data centres, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies, and cyber security – but how is the industry taking the news?

Industry and academics respond to $5bn Microsoft investment in Australia
expand image

The announcement was made with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese standing beside Microsoft bosses from the US and Australia in Washington, DC, this morning (24 October).

Here’s what we’ve heard so far.

John Kaleski
Cloud partner at Mantel Group


Microsoft’s announcement that it will be investing $5 billion to expand its hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure over the next two years is big news for the Australian technology industry. We have an undersupply of technology consultants in the Australian marketplace. Microsoft’s plan to provide an extra 300,000 places under its global skills program will ultimately help organisations innovate in the cloud and AI-enabled digital economy more efficiently with access to a larger pool of talent.

We all know that cyber attacks pose a significant threat to Australian residents, businesses and governments. Today’s announcement of a Microsoft-Australian Signals Directorate Cyber Shield will assist to reduce the incidence of successful cyber attacks. Sharing best practice to build cyber resilience and developing ways to appropriately identify, prevent and respond to cyber attacks will collectively help all Australians.

Microsoft’s announcement that it will increase its computing capacity by approximately 250 per cent over the next two years in the Australian market is largely in anticipation of the enormous growth in generative AI. We are already seeing huge demand for services in the cloud and data domains, and Microsoft’s investment will further accelerate this growth.

Professor Monica Whitty
Head of department of software systems and cybersecurity, faculty of information technology, Monash University

This announcement and the intention to invest in building a “cyber shield” signifies the recognition and urgent need to increase cyber security capacity in Australia.

While it is difficult to know exactly how this “cyber shield” will be implemented, what is important for Australians to know is that we have a cyber security skills gap that urgently needs addressing.

In Australia, we need to improve basic levels of digital literacy and training that organisations might provide, but even more importantly, there is a need to increase the number of highly trained cyber security specialists in undergraduate and postgraduate degrees – given that currently, the government and industry are struggling to recruit this much-needed talent from within the country.

Sumit Bansal
Vice-president, APJ, BlueVoyant

I am excited to see Microsoft further investing in Australia, including to help boost protection from cyber threats. When it comes to cyber security, the best defence is making cyber security a team sport and working together to stop the latest threats. BlueVoyant is a leading Microsoft Security partner and ensures clients maximise their Microsoft Security subscriptions.

Organisations in Australia have recently been targeted by cyber criminals, with incidents making news headlines. These incidents should serve as a wake-up call. Organisations must make sure they are monitoring their internal networks 24x7 and quickly responding to pressing threats. This includes patching any vulnerabilities quickly, as we are seeing cyber criminals exploit these faster and faster, sometimes in a matter of days. Many of the recent breaches have involved third parties with network access, such as vendors and suppliers. To stop these kinds of attacks, organisations need to be aware of the third parties they are relying on, monitor them 24x7, and work with them to quickly patch and remediate any vulnerabilities.

Professor of Practice Nigel Phair
Department of software systems and Cybersecurity, faculty of information technology, Monash University

While this announcement is largely centred on the building of new data centres, it also focuses on two rapidly growing areas of cyber security – cloud computing and AI.

Australia, like the rest of the world, faces huge challenges to not only continually embrace the benefits of these technologies but also to manage the cyber risks surrounding their use.

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

cd intro podcast

Introducing Cyber Daily, the new name for Cyber Security Connect

Click here to learn all about it
cyber daily subscribe
Be the first to hear the latest developments in the cyber industry.