Fighting the national priority of Cybercrime

Fighting the national priority of Cybercrime

Cyber security is a major challenge for business, government and societies around the world. One-third of Australian businesses have experienced cybercrime, resulting in business disruption, loss of information and revenue, as well as damage to reputation and even equipment.

To address these issues, Macquarie University has partnered with Optus to create the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub. Launched in August 2016, this multi- disciplinary network provides expertise and leadership in cyber security.  The $10 million joint investment offers a platform for exchange between academics and practitioners from business and government.  It aims to meet the growing market and demand for cyber security expertise among new graduates as well as existing employees in learning new skills. The Cyber Security Hub promotes fi ve interdisciplinary research areas: secure systems and software, big-data technologies and approaches, risk management and modelling, law and cybercrime, and finally organisational and human factors. Drawing on the expertise of more than 30 leading researchers in computing, engineering, business and finance, risk modeling, security and criminology and law and human behaviour, the Hub catalyses multi-disciplinary projects that will address the major, real-world challenges and commercial opportunities set out by our partners from government and business.

The agreement came in the wake of the government’s 2016 $231.1 million Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to defend Australia from foreign cyber-attacks, by sharing threat information between business and government. “Organisations . . . need to have a fully integrated approach to cyber-security, involving all staff training, management buy-in, effective technology solutions and knowledge of today’s cyber-threats,” explains John Paitaridis, Optus Business Managing Director. “The hub addresses all these [concerns], providing businesses and government agencies with a unique and unparalleled cyber-offering to help them navigate a complex landscape.” Professor David Wilkinson, Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Corporate Engagement and Advancement) at Macquarie University, believes it’s a “perfect collaboration” because education will be key to the success of the government’s cyber strategy and is the cornerstone of any cyber security program. “The opportunity to partner with Optus, an organisation that deals with cyber threats and challenges on a daily basis, was something we welcomed,” he says. “It enables us to improve cyber security education at all levels – from the C-level executive through to every employee.” In addition, Professor Wilkinson adds by collaborating with industry to tailor its study programs, the University can give students a head-start in their careers, placing them at the top of Australia’s cyber security talent pool. “And these initiatives will support the wider expansion of cyber security training in organisations to better secure and protect their networks and infrastructure.” “Cyber security has become one of the defining issues of this decade, which is why Macquarie University was one of the first in the country to establish a dedicated policing, intelligence, and counter-terrorism degree,” Professor Wilkinson says.

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