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Lack of talent behind slow NSW government cyber security expansion

Two years after the NSW government pledged funds to grow Cyber Security NSW, the NSW government is still yet to fill around a quarter of the roles in its expanded cyber security unit.

user iconReporter
Tue, 26 Apr 2022
Lack of talent behind slow NSW government cyber security expansion
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In August 2020, Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello allocated $60 million to Cyber Security NSW from a $240 million investment in cyber security over three years (now $315 million).

The funding – which comes from the $2.1 billion Digital Restart Fund (DRF) – was to be used to create an “army” of cyber experts over three years, with as many as 75 new roles to be created.

The cyber workforce was to allow Cyber Security NSW to expand the state’s cyber defences, including by extending support to small agencies and councils – considered some of the most vulnerable.

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Cyber Security NSW is responsible for the government’s cyber security policy, incident response and efforts to help lift cyber hygiene. It is designed to operate the government’s cyber security vulnerability management centre in Bathurst, which monitors systems and provides early identification and remediation of known vulnerabilities.

The Department of Customer Service revealed that 22 positions at Cyber Security NSW remained unfilled in response to questions on notice from a round of budget estimates hearings in March. Current staffing levels sit at 76 permanently filled positions, as well as five contractors, according to the department, which also noted that the challenge in finding staff was down to a myriad of factors, not just the skills shortages in the cyber security sector.

[Related: AUSTRAC works with businesses to counter cyber-enabled crime]

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