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Cyber centre announces new CEO

The Australian Cyber Security Research Centre (CSRC), a not-for-profit company dedicated to promoting industry investment into cyber security research and development, has appointed a former Telstra executive as its CEO.

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Thu, 17 May 2018
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Rachael Falk comes to CSRC with a strong commercial and cyber security background having practiced as a lawyer for 15 years both in law firms and also in-house at Telstra, before she became Telstra’s general manager of cyber influence.

More recently she has been a cyber security consultant. She is the co-author of 'the Five Knows of Cyber Security' and is well known in cyber security for her unique and respected insights.

CSRC chairman David Irvine AO said Falk will lead the charge in CSRC's collaboration with key stakeholders.


"Strong cyber security is a critical issue for our economy and for Australia’s prosperity. We are delighted to have Rachael as our chief executive," Irvine said.

"Not only does she bring a wealth of industry knowledge, she will ensure that CSRC collaborates with academia, industry and government to deliver industry-driven cyber security outcomes. We want our research and work to have an impact benefiting Australia both now and well into the future."

Irvine acknowledged the hard work of Dr Darrell Williamson, who acted as interim CEO during the establishment phase of the CSRC.

"Dr Williamson played a key role in bringing together the CRC’s 25 industry, academic and government partners," he said.

Irvine also acknowledged the strong support of the Australian government, which will be contributing $50 million to a program valued in cash and in kind at $140 million over seven years. The West Australian government has also provided substantial support for the CSRC initiative, along with support from the South Australian and NSW governments.

The CSRC will deliver an Australia-wide approach to respond to cyber threats and cyber crime. It was established last September when the federal government announced funding for a $50 million Cyber Security CRC and opened its head office at Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) Joondalup Campus in Western Australia in April this year.

Initially, the CSRC will bring together seven universities and research institutions, nine industry partners and nine government agencies. The participants are:

Research Institutions: Edith Cowan University, Adelaide University, Deakin University, Charles Sturt University, University of NSW, Queensland University of Technology, and Data61 (a division of CSIRO)

Industry: CISCO Systems Australia, Singtel Optus, Jemena, ActewAGL Distribution, TATA Consultancy Services, Datacom Technical Security Services, PEN10 Services, QuintessenceLabs, and AARNet.

Federal government: Department of Defence (Australian Signals Directorate), Attorney-General’s Department (CERT Australia, Critical Infrastructure Centre), Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

State governments: Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (WA), Canberra Data Centres (NSW Data Centres), NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, and Defence SA.

The Cyber Security CRC will also work closely with the government’s Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber) to help deliver innovation in cyber security and to foster a strong national cyber security sector.

The centre’s program will focus initially on two research themes; cyber security in critical infrastructure and cyber security as a service.

The CSRC expects further participants to emerge from Australia businesses and academic and research institutions – and the industry-driven research program to expand further as it responds to cyber security needs identified by industry.

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