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New cyber security not-for-profit sets up in Australia’s Sunshine Coast

Yesterday saw Australia’s latest cyber security organisation, the Critical Infrastructure – Information Sharing and Analysis Centre – or CI-ISAC – open its doors in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

user icon David Hollingworth
Tue, 07 Feb 2023
New cyber security not-for-profit sets up in Australia’s Sunshine Coast
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CI-ISAC is a not-for-profit association looking to build a framework of cooperation and information sharing for businesses and other organisations, especially those within Australia’s 11 critical infrastructure sectors.

CI-ISAC is currently onboarding members and actively looking to bring new organisations on board. Meanwhile, its threat-sharing platform, where members can share threat intelligence and work on combating them, is also already online.

“In the last three months of 2022, Australia suffered the largest number of cyber attacks in its history,” said CI-ISAC’s co-founder David Sandell in an announcement. “The Optus and Medibank Private attacks specifically highlighted the need for Australian organisations to start working together to enhance their cyber defences against the increasing volume of cyber threats.”

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“Importantly, CI-ISAC aims to include all 537 Australian local governments as a discreet community of cyber defenders, given that every piece of Australia’s critical infrastructure resides in the territory of a local government.”

Sandell worked in threat intelligence for the National Australia Bank, and he’s not the only member of CI-ISAC’s leadership team with a background in cyber security. Stephen Beaumont AM, CI-ISAC’s non-executive chair, is a 35-year Army veteran with experience in three joint programs, including cyber, while David Robinson, CI-ISAC’s strategic intelligence advisor is a former Army Intelligence Officer.

CI-ISAC also has some legal knowledge backing it up, in the shape of solicitor Helaine Leggat, the current co-chair of the Australian Women in Security Network.

There is a range of membership tiers based on the number of people in a company or organisation, with Tier 5 — for organisations with less than 100 people costing $2,500 per year, and the top tier for organisations with more than 10,000 members costing $30,000. But being a not-for-profit, all fees go towards improving information-sharing systems and boosting CI-ISAC’s capabilities.

CI-ISAC and its founders believe that security teams operating in isolation will continue to be overwhelmed by a growing threat landscape, but by coming together, cyber security specialists will be able to move from a reactive, incident-driven approach towards a more forward-looking, threat-led outlook.

Members will have access to threat briefings, analysts on demand, industry summits, and advisory sessions, while also being able to take advantage of vulnerability advisories.

“CI-ISAC will provide the governance and trusted, independent, structured set of enabling capabilities to harness the collective power of Australian organisations to work together to defend against cyber attackers,” Sandell said.

“No one has a greater interest in defending an asset than the asset owner or operator in every industry.”

Anyone interested in membership and wanting to know more can email info@ci-isac.com.au.

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.

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