Evidence-based measurement crucial for growth of the Australian cyber security sector

Evidence-based measurement crucial for growth of the Australian cyber security sector

The 2019 Update to Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP) and the CISO Lens Benchmark 2019 were officially launched at an event at the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node today.

Attended by over 100 representatives from governments, industry and the research community, the Sydney event is the first of eight briefings comprising a national tour which includes Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Launceston, Canberra and Brisbane.

Cyber security continues to be one of the most rapidly expanding sectors worldwide. Global spending on cyber security products and services is projected to increase by 88 per cent over the next six years, from around US$145 billion today to almost US$270 billion in 2026. In 2018, Australia’s external spending on cyber security products and services grew by eight per cent to A$3.9 billion (compared to six per cent growth in 2017).

The SCP’s 2019 update was authored by AustCyber – the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, part of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative – and draws on extensive industry consultation and research to provide an updated picture of the global outlook, challenges, opportunities and priority actions needed to grow a vibrant and globally competitive cyber security sector that enhances Australia’s future economic growth.

CEO of AustCyber, Michelle Price said, “The aim of the Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan is to provide the economic evidence base for the cyber security industry across business, research and consumer segments to drive growth in the ecosystem, increase exports of Australian solutions, and support Australia to become the leading global centre for cyber security education. The 2019 update indicates strong growth against the data outlined in SCP’s first iteration, released in April 2017, reflecting the rapid evolution of this dynamic sector.”

Last year’s update provided a ‘deep dive’ on the skills and workforce gap – one of three key issues holding back the sector’s sustained growth. This year’s deep dive explores the underlying structural challenges of having an inadequate measurement of the sector’s development, and its impact and contribution to economic prosperity.

“A clear view of the maturity and size of Australia’s cyber security sector is essential for strategic growth. Good policy and future investments are contingent upon policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors having a strong picture of the sector on which to make informed decisions,” said Ms. Price.

“The measurement of fundamental economic metrics such as the size of the sector and its value added to the economy can serve as a foundation to more sophisticated analysis, such as the broader impacts of cyber innovation across the economy, including its role as an enabler of growth and its contribution to overall prosperity,” said Ms. Price.

The SCP’s 2019 Update was released with a companion document, the CISO Lens Benchmark 2019, discussed between CISO Lens founder James Turner and Ms. Price at today’s event.

Topics included cyber resilience across the Australian and New Zealand economies, and how CISOs should use the Benchmark to ensure their organisations were putting forward a cyber security posture commensurate to the value they deliver to their organisations and the economy more broadly.

CISO Lens is a forum for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of large Australian and New Zealand organisations. The Benchmark aims to enable evidence-based decision making around cyber strategy and resource allocation and is founded on benchmarking completed by Mr Turner, with cyber security executives to assess how their organisations respond to cyber risks.

"The leading security executives of Australia and New Zealand are keen collaborators because they recognise they all face the same risks and threat. Their encouragement to publish this benchmark is a demonstration of their desire to make a difference for all organisations in the local ecosystem,” said Mr Turner. "The CISO Lens Benchmark 2019 supports many of the issues raised in AustCyber's Sector Competitiveness Plan, not least of which is the need for further and ongoing talent development."

All documents are available online:

Today’s event is part of a national roadshow and registration links for the other locations are below: