A message from AustCyber's CEO Michelle Price

Michelle Price

It’s well and truly the middle of the year and this month has been another big one in the AustCyber ecosystem and beyond.

A note upfront about the TOLA Act – the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security in the Australian Parliament is currently reviewing the amendments made to the AABill as it passed into legislation (now referred to as the TOLA Act). Consultation is under way and I encourage you to get involved – either directly, or indirectly, through your preferred industry association or AustCyber. The TOLA Act has also been referred to the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Dr James Renwick CSC SC, for review later this year with likely opportunities for consultation. I encourage you to stay across developments in this space.

In early July, we partnered with the Australian British Chamber of Commerce to present a unique opportunity to Australian cyber security companies to learn from, and showcase to, the UK financial services and health sectors.

The Financial Services Catalyst, where I was joined by Penten, ParaFlare and Secure Code Warrior, examined the challenges facing financial institutions with the rapid change of technology and customer expectations, new regulations, data security and building the platforms for future banking, while ensuring the wealth of data from legacy systems is maintained.

The UK’s regulatory framework, easy access to capital, and a long history of innovation, all contribute to London being a leading fintech ecosystem in the world. Australia has a strong financial services sector, growing cyber security industry and a history of innovation in the technology space, making it ideally placed to take advantage of this opportunity and become a leading market for innovation, finance and investment.

The Health Catalyst, where I was joined by Forticode, the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre and Industry Growth Centre colleagues MTPConnect, presented a unique opportunity to facilitate and promote the exchange of ideas and experience in healthcare in Australia and the UK.

From the UK, it was off to Singapore for a program of activity created in collaboration with Austrade and organised around the RSA Asia Pacific & Japan Conference 2019. This included an in-market program prior to the conference for 15 Australian companies to learn about the latest issues, opportunities and solutions in the ASEAN region, stay abreast with new regulations, demo innovative and cutting-edge products, and network with potential customers, investors and partners in Singapore.

In addition, six companies exhibited at the RSAC Early Stage Expo, and SecureStack and Cydarm were selected to participate in the RSA APJ Launch Pad.

In Australia, we launched our NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node with the NSW government on 17 July at the Sydney Joint Cyber Security Centre. Dr Adrian Turner, Co-chair of AustCyber, and I were joined by the Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP and the NSW Minister for Finance and Small Business, the Hon Damien Tudehope, together with our NSW Node Manager Dr Stephenie Andal and 180 people from across government, industry and academia.

The launch also featured a panel discussion with leading voices in Australia’s cyber security ecosystem – Tony Chapman, Chief Cyber Security Officer at Cyber Security NSW; Greg Crowther, Business Director at Sydney-born cyber security company Kasada, and Professor Roy Green, Emeritus Professor at the University of Technology, Sydney.

The Node is the latest addition to AustCyber’s National Network of Cyber Security Innovation Nodes – designed to foster and accelerate cyber capability development and innovation across the country.

Expressions of Interest for the AustCyber Projects Fund closed on 12 July. The team are now shortlisting applicants to pitch to an Industry Advisory Panel, as the next step in the round.

There were two exciting announcements this month as well.

CyRise were named as one of three businesses sharing $1 million in funding to help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality’ as part of the Australian Government’s Incubator Support Program.

The Melbourne-based accelerator will be putting on three five-day intensive bootcamps in Melbourne, Sydney & Canberra, targeted at individuals with a cyber security product idea looking to test it and turn it into a business.

Australian cyber security company Aiculus was also accepted into CyLon ICE71 Accelerate, a three-month acceleration program for early stage companies, in Singapore. They have an amazing opportunity to further scale their product and scale their company internationally. I am genuinely excited to see how Omaru and the team embrace this experience and apply it to the next phase of growth and maturity for the company.

Next month, Program Director of Innovation and Capability Growth Mike Bareja will be attending Blackhat and Defcon. He will be accompanying Australian cyber companies including Cyber Security Hub, Airlock Digital and Penten at the conferences, promoting Australian capability, networking with the best from across the world and learning about industry trends. If you're an Australian attending, please get in touch by emailing [email protected].

In August, we’ll also be focusing on Cyber Week planning and we’re excited to announce that RSA Unplugged is coming to Australia on 10 October. To find out more information and register your interest in the event, visit RSA’s website.

We continue to support the Australian Computing Academy’s Schools Cyber Security Challenges and the roadshow around Australia which offers professional development for teachers. 

Busy and productive as always at AustCyber!