A message from AustCyber's CEO Michelle Price

Michelle Price

I’m super excited that registration has opened for our annual Australia House program to the United States, which is going digital this year and, as usual, coincides with RSA Conference 2021 (USA) this month. With a focus on investment and global supply chains, we have a fantastic line-up of speakers from AWS, Jacobs USA, Leidos, Main Sequence Ventures, Ridgeline, Rain Capital and Austrade. The program also includes an update to the webinar we ran late last year on the US government’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), an exclusive CMMC training package, plus the launch of our US Market Insights Report. Make sure you take a moment to register – for a virtual delegation, it is excellent value.

While on the topic of the US, President Biden has highlighted cyber security as a continuing top priority for his Administration. This renewed focus follows the recent SolarWinds incident among many other malicious intrusions. The Biden Administration is currently prepping an Executive Order that will likely focus on procurement of cyber tools from industry and encourage greater collaboration between the private sector and government to build a safe and secure online environment for all Americans. This will of course likely impact the policies of other nations.

President Biden has also nominated Chris Inglis as the first National Cyber Director; a demonstration of the Administration's commitment to lean forward in cyber security and harden government and industry computer systems against hacks and other online intrusions. The National Cyber Director is a position created by Congress and recommended by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.

Back in Australia’s policy and advocacy space, critical infrastructure reforms continue at pace. The Amendment Bill is still before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), with submissions closed and an inquiry report due soon. AustCyber will continue to engage and keep you updated, noting the interest around SMEs in particular.

In April, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs launched DFAT’s Cyber & Critical Technology Engagement Strategy. Our values in tech matter and Australia needs to strengthen our trusted partnerships and supply chains, including in the Indo-Pacific, leveraging local capabilities. AustCyber welcomes the launch of this strategy, and I highly recommend that you read it and apply its principles to the way you develop your approach to our own markets and those offshore.

In a concurrent area of activity, I was honoured to be asked to speak alongside our NSW Node Manager, Mina Zaki, at this year’s UN Youth Digital Diplomacy Summit in Sydney, attended by almost 100 high school students aspiring to be our nation’s diplomats of tomorrow. Interestingly, the main topics of discussion were the role and influence of artificial intelligence in diplomacy – and the role of technology in the critically important matter of consent. These were some incredibly switched on kids. The discussion was considered, thought provoking and humbling.

Also locally, I’ll be in Adelaide this week as we get into May for the Stone & Chalk Summit, which aligns to _SOUTHSTART, Australia’s mini version of South By Southwest. There are plenty of sessions on offer, and the ‘Secure by design – cyber resilience for industry’ event that our SA Node is hosting is of particular value to SMEs and an opportunity to showcase sovereign cyber capability.

It has now been almost three months since we announced our merger with Stone & Chalk and our teams, products and services continue to integrate. If you have any questions or feedback about the future of AustCyber, make sure you reach out to me personally, or visit our website.

Blink and the year will be gone … #GameOn