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Canberra-based cyber SME secures new opportunities in Defence

Penten, a local cyber security company, has received funding under a contract with AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, to provide secure network access to a pilot group of regional SMEs and academia.

user iconStephen Kuper
Fri, 14 Feb 2020
Canberra-based cyber SME secures new opportunities in Defence
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This project represents turning point for defence industry. The opportunity will provide Aussie SMEs with means to bid for, win and work on government classified projects in a secure and protected environment from any location.

Regional Australia will no longer be excluded from working on Defence projects and Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities will have a chance to thrive.

For some regional SMEs and the research community, working with Defence has proved difficult. The cost to set up and operate secure IT systems is expensive and complex.


This complexity has restricted SMEs from entering the industry, whereas larger companies with the ability to set up and maintain secure communications have had an advantage.

Matthew Wilson, CEO of Penten, reiterated the benefits to Australia are twofold: "SMEs are the future growth and innovation engine of the Australian cyber economy. These businesses provide invaluable opportunities for Defence to gain advantage. Without them, we are missing out. Australia is missing out."

Penten’s secure mobility service is a low-cost alternative, providing regional Australia the chance to join the defence industry without the high up-front and ongoing maintenance costs. It also gives defence industry the opportunity to engage a wider range of Australian companies to deliver sovereign capability.

"Our secure mobility service will provide these SMEs and academics the opportunity to be seen, heard and have their ideas, products and skills recognised on a national and international level. The Australian economy will benefit, as will the SMEs themselves. This is a turning point for regional Australia, small business and Defence. No one need be excluded any more," Wilson added.

Based on Penten’s AltoCrypt technology, the project will deliver customers a familiar desktop experience through a secure device to a protected environment. Users will enjoy flexibility without the need for briefcases, power packs and cables. The SME will only need to provide an internet connection.

Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber, said, "This project will bring together Australian SMEs to better support and protect themselves, Defence and national security information; as well as Australia's emerging place in the global defence and cyber market."

The secure mobility service provides the SME the ability to meet the requirements to access Australian government work with the opportunity to expand to the global defence market. After the pilot, it is planned to roll out the service to a wide net of defence industry partners.

"AustCyber sees this project as a true game changer for the Australian economy and it shows a better way for economies globally," Price added.

In addition to work opportunities, this secure mobility service raises the cyber protection of those businesses and researchers that face the highest threat. Often, SMEs are targeted by cyber adversaries as they are not equipped to protect themselves.

The cost of not making the investment results in their exclusion from directly supporting the defence sector. This project will enable these communities with trusted and proven cyber protection.

For academia specifically, the project will foster the acceleration of sensitive research and development enabling participation in the lucrative and forward leaning global defence markets.

Penten is a Canberra -based cyber security company focused on innovation in secure mobility and applied artificial intelligence.

Penten’s AltoCrypt family of secure mobility solutions enable mobile secure access to classified information for government. This access provides government workers with the accessibility and flexibility of a modern workplace.

AustCyber was established in 2017 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation. AustCyber is funded by federal government grants and forms part of two national programs:

  • The federal government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative, which was established through the National Innovation and Science Agenda. AustCyber is one of six centres that have been set up in sectors of competitive strength and strategic priority to boost innovation and science in Australia.
  • Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy as a key enabler for cyber security research and development, as well as innovation.

AustCyber’s program of activities is underpinned by evidence gained through extensive research and consultation. The organisation’s flagship publications – Australia’s Sector Competitiveness Plan 2019 and Industry Roadmap – outline the opportunity for Australia's cyber security sector to support growth across the whole economy.

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