A message from AustCyber's CEO Michelle Price

Michelle Price

As we head towards the end of the year, it’s been a whirlwind couple of months for the team at AustCyber, with a series of major milestones for the organisation and the ecosystem.

On Monday 30 November, we launched the 2020 Update to Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP) at Parliament House in Canberra, followed by a hybrid livestream / in-person event in the evening and a webinar with our Node Managers. The hybrid event was the first involving people being in the same room since February – some travelled from as far afield as TAS, WA, VIC and northern QLD. Simply wonderful.

This year’s SCP, through market data, as well as insights from AustCyber’s inaugural sector-wide Digital Census, provides the first comprehensive measurement of the Australian cyber security sector – including state-by-state analysis. These fresh insights have allowed us to uncover the current state of the sector, outline the potential for the next growth phase and describe how to accelerate the momentum the sector has developed over the past five years. I highly recommend a read; it continues to be a resource for startups, scale-ups, mature companies, buyers, investors, researchers and policymakers. 

Launched alongside the SCP, was the CISO Lens Benchmark 2020. AustCyber has proudly sponsored the Benchmark for a second year running. It is an authoritative source for many reasons, including enabling you to challenge or validate the management and resource allocation of cyber security in your organisation. Like the SCP, it is globally unique and freely accessible.

Earlier this week, we also released our fifth episode of our monthly podcast, ‘OzCyber Unlocked’. The team and I chatted to Toby Brennan (Accenture), Jacqui Nelson (Dekko Secure), Gemma Cosgriff (Stone & Chalk) and Ambassador for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, Dr Tobias Feakin, about how the data in our 2020 SCP was collected and analysed, market barriers, strategies for growth, and how we can capture global export opportunities. We also explored how to include neurodiverse people in our workplaces, with Andrew Eddy from Untapped in the spotlight segment – well worth a listen! 

At the end of October, we held our fourth annual Australian Cyber Week – featuring 20+ online and in-person events and activities spanning the full breadth of the cyber security landscape for those within the sector, but also well beyond. We were excited to debut our brand-new 3D virtual conference platform which was crafted using 100% Australian technology. ‘Circuit board city’ saw 5,400 attendees access the platform over five days, with over 30,000 page views. 

I believe we elevated important topics during this awareness week. Personal highlights included the ‘Australia under attack – are you ready?’ hypothetical which underlined the importance of digital trust for keeping our activity secure and resilient, using a family as an example; and the ‘Culture shock – barriers to diversity are the barriers to growth’ event, which was both confrontational and enriching. Jump onto the Australian Cyber Week website to re-watch the recordings of all of the events.

A HUGE thank you to our 50 speakers, six sponsors, 11 event partners, 22 exhibitors in the trade hall and everyone who attended as a participant. We can’t wait to do it again next year! 

In the background, we have been working with stakeholders, including ozcyber companies, on our submission on the Exposure Draft of the Security Legislation Amendment (Critical Infrastructure) Bill, one of the most significant cyber security regulatory shifts to be proposed for the nation. Ever. I believe our recommended changes are important to support a more level playing field. However, like other legislation before this, the implementation of the Bill will rely on the assistance of industry to achieve its aims. Focus on trusted public private partnerships across all ends of value chains has never been needed more.

While it’s been an unusual year (and heavy for most), the pace at AustCyber doesn’t stop. We are aware that a percentage of smaller cyber companies are still at risk of closing with the impact of the pandemic, and we are keen to help. Please reach out if you need support – our community has proven our ability to provide in many different ways. You are not alone.