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Aussie cyber experts to set national security agenda in Perth

Edith Cowan University will welcome Australia’s top cyber security experts to Perth next week to discuss how to protect Australians from cyber threats.

user iconStephen Kuper
Wed, 29 Jan 2020
Aussie cyber experts to set national security agenda in Perth
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Sixty of the nation’s brightest cyber security minds, including the Department of Home Affairs Deputy Secretary with responsibility for our national cyber security policy, Marc Ablong PSM, will descend on Perth on 29 January to take part in high-level strategy discussions, designed to keep government, businesses and families safe online.

Cyber crime is a growing cost to the Australian economy, with the overall impact on businesses estimated to be in the billions of dollars every year.

The Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, Michael Pezzullo, will deliver the forum’s keynote address.


“The magnitude of the digital threats faced by Australians has increased. They will become more acute as our society and economy become increasingly connected. As the threat evolves, so too must our response,” said Secretary Pezzullo.

The Cyber 2020 Forum is being held at Edith Cowan University (ECU) – home to the $140 million-dollar Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, a collaboration between industry, government and the research sector.

ECU vice-chancellor Professor Stephen Chapman said, “The threat of online adversaries is ever evolving. As a community, we need to stay ahead of those threats.

“ECU’s cyber security research and education team is one of the best in Australia and one of the leading groups in the world. We are pleased to host the Cyber 2020 Forum alongside the Department of Home Affairs, a true reflection of our position among global leaders in the field of cyber security,” explained Professor Chapman.

Rachael Falk, head of Australia’s Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, said the Cyber 2020 Forum is critical to ensuring the government can meet the challenges of the digital age.

“It is essential that we take this opportunity, have robust debate with the best and brightest around how best to predict, protect and detect threats against individuals, businesses and critical infrastructure. This requires close collaboration between industry, government and the research sector,” Falk said.

Cyber security leaders from academia, government agencies and industry will form part of the two-day think tank called Cyber 2020 Forum, part of Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy. Initial consultation to inform the development of the strategy closed in November last year, with a total of 213 submissions.

“This forum will allow us to share our analysis of the submissions we received during the strategy’s consultation period, and then further review, assess and prioritise the insights collected through the ‘call for views’ process,” added Secretary Pezzullo.

The Cyber 2020 Forum will assist government in the creation of a new national cyber security strategy, which will be the successor to the 2016 Cyber Security Strategy.

Follow-up public consultations on the Cyber Security Strategy are being held across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane this week. The Perth forum will focus on four themes, including emerging cyber threats and vulnerabilities and how best to build cyber skills in the economy.

One of those challenges is the skills shortage in the cyber security sector. It is expected that over the next decade, Australia will need more than 60,000 skilled professionals to fill the looming employment gap in the cyber security industry.

Edith Cowan University is one of only two Australian universities recognised by the Australian government as an Academic Centre of Cyber Security Excellence to address the national shortage of highly skilled cyber security professionals.

“We have one of the fastest-growing cyber security programs in the country to meet the appetite for experts in this field,” Professor Chapman said.

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