12 October 2022

Australia powers up on cyber security

When the Harvard's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs recently released its updated 2022 National Cyber Power Index (NCPI), Australia was one of the star performers.

Rated 10th in the previous NCPI in 2020, Australia has jumped up to fifth spot on the global cyber capability list, with only the United States, China, Russia and the United Kingdom ahead in the rankings.

The analysis - which includes 29 indicators of capability taking in multilateral and bilateral agreements, cyber and data laws, strength of the e-commerce economy, globally significant firms and patent applications, among others – is “more comprehensive than any other current measure of cyber power”, according to the authors.

Australia’s rise in this global ranking is in line with the country’s fast-growing cyber security market, worth more than A$7 billion and forecast to triple in size over the next decade.

In 2022, the Australian Government appointed a standalone Minister for Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil – making it the first G20 country to create such a post.

The government is also investing heavily in Australia’s national intelligence and cyber sectors. In July 2022 the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) launched the A$9.9 billion REDSPICE initiative, which aims to triple its offensive cyber capabilities and help it to counter the increasing scale and sophistication of cyber attacks.

Cyber security secure login via futuristic digital display concept

The ASD’s lead agency, the Australian Cyber Security Centre, offers free resources to help businesses and individuals stay cyber secure, with a special emphasis this month – Cyber Security Awareness Month – on the rising problem of hacking.

As countries around the world compete for skilled experts in this field, the government-funded Australian Cyber Security Growth Network – AustCyber – is actively building a pipeline of skilled cyber security professionals in Australia through academic centres, speed networking events and the implementation of a national curriculum for cyber security.

The government is also revamping the A$1.7 billion Cyber Security Strategy to support the development of new and innovative cyber security solutions, many of which have been highlighted this week at Australia’s major cyber security forum – CyberCon2022.

Australia’s strong tech ecosystem and innovative culture is a major drawcard for international business and talent. World-class Australian research institutions such as CSIRO's Data61 offer unique partnership opportunities for international investors or businesses looking to collaborate on new technologies or tap into Australia’s booming cyber security ecosystem.

Already, global security companies like NEC Corporation and Akamai Technologies are reaping the rewards of an Australian presence – NEC, for example, has built a A$4.4 million Global Security Intelligence Centre in South Australia – while more than 90 accelerators and incubators are providing startups with an ideal launching pad for their ideas.

Learn more about Australia’s rapidly growing cyber security market, its world-leading capabilities and the opportunities for international businesses.

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