CEO update by Michelle Price

Michelle Price

Welcome to another edition of AustCyber’s CEO update.

As we enter the second quarter of the year, I’d like to reflect on a few of the key initiatives we’ve delivered over the past few months and set the scene for the important initiatives coming up.

In February, we supported the launch of the national ‘Schools Cyber Security Challenges’ at an event in Sydney. Led by the Australian Computing Academy at the University of Sydney, the launch was a key milestone in the delivery of a project under AustCyber’s Projects Fund in partnership with ANZ Bank, BT, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac.

The Schools Cyber Security Challenges are designed to provide high school teachers with the resources to support the teaching of cyber security concepts in classrooms around Australia, and to inform students of career opportunities in the field. The Challenges are classroom ready and aligned with both the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies and ICT Capability. They also complement CyberTaipan (see below) by teaching the skills kids then use to successfully compete against each other in a cyber security competition environment.

Also in February, we partnered with Austrade to deliver a third Australian Cyber Security Trade Mission to the USA. This year we added New York City to the Mission’s busy programme and we’re already seeing significant outcomes for the companies, universities and state/territory governments who sponsored and participated in the Mission. I encourage you to have a look at videos from the Mission on AustCyber’s YouTube channel.

In March, we delivered the National Finals for the pilot of CyberTaipan, alongside presenting sponsor Northrop Grumman and pilot sponsors BlackBerry, PwC and Woodside Energy. The snakes (40 students forming teams from ten high schools and high school-based community groups) travelled to Canberra having made it to the finals after participating in our months-long cyber security skills competition with 60 other high schools. They battled it out for first, second and third place, completing a day’s worth of tough challenges designed to mimic the real-life cyber threats that a newly-hired cyber security professional might face. You can watch the day’s activities unfold in our video here.

Finally, we kicked off our AustCyber AllStars program in March by welcoming Alex van Someren from the UK-based Amadeus Capital to Canberra, Sydney and Perth to deliver a series of events focused on investment in cyber security.Topics included harnessing cyber security as part of a broader commercial growth strategy, investment advice for Australia’s innovation and start-up ecosystems and the kinds of issues and emerging trends that influence investor decisions.

And of course, we continued our work to engage with industry and government around the introduction of the AA Bill and development of industry guidelines for implementation.

Now to the next quarter – which of course, we’re already in the throes of … 

The team is squarely focused on launching the next round of the AustCyber Projects Fund, which will again provide matched funding to industry-led projects. This year there will be two approaches to how this funding is awarded – further details will be announced in May.

Following our successful mission to the US, on the international front it’s now time to turn our attention to the upcoming Australian British Financial Services Catalyst 2019 in London in July. As a major sponsor of this Mission, we’re working with the Australian British Chamber of Commerce to organise an engaging programme. I’m really pleased with how it’s shaping up and of course, the timing is perfect for Australia to be able to demonstrate just how great we are at partnering to solve big problems, in this case at the nexus of financial services and cyber resilience.

As an aside, the Chamber have done a fantastic job in my humble opinion of keeping Australian business up-to-date with the latest Brexit developments and what they might mean for the Australian economy. Check them out if you’re not already involved.

On 13 May, Austrade’s Singapore Landing Pad Residency Program commences. This program providestailored, cohort-based residencies to help Australian start-ups land and expand into major global innovation hubs around the world. It’s exciting to take what has been successful in San Francisco to Singapore and soon we’ll be announcing the four companies that are headed over to the hub of ASEAN with AustCyber’s support! 

A special shout out to Kasada for their launch of their Bots Down Under report – an ecosystem milestone as much as it is for Kasada. One of the things I love most about this report (apart from it being all about Australia by an #OzCyber company) is the way the Kasada team has leveraged colleagues across the cybers to ensure the veracity of their findings. Yet another demonstration of our cultural affinity with a partnership approach. It’s what separates us from all others globally – #TrueStory.

Finally, we’ll be continuing the work we’re doing with federal, state and territory governments on cyber security workforce development. This includes collaborating with PwC on their Skills for Australia initiative to create cyber security competency packages for trade qualifications across the country. This is an amazing project that will establish a legacy for all Australians for generations.

For more information on the above projects, make sure you follow us on social media (@AustCyber and @Cyber_Roo) and become a ‘Friend of the Network’

I’m looking forward to updating you again next quarter on our progress and more exciting initiatives. #GameOn!