NSW pursues coordinated approach to boosting state’s infosec sector

Launches plan to grow NSW cyber security sector

The New South Wales government will launch a new program dubbed ‘Cyber Security Connect’ to help develop a coordinated approach to boosting the state’s information security industry.

“NSW starts from a strong baseline and is already home to the largest ICT industry in Australia, a world-leading financial services sector, a rapidly expanding fintech industry and more than 45 per cent of the nation’s start-ups,” said NSW finance, services and property minister Victor Dominello.

“This strategy will take advantage of these existing strengths and supporting our cyber security start-ups and SMEs to develop new technologies to commercialise and export globally.”

The NSW government yesterday formally launched its cyber security industry development strategy, which outlines four key themes to help boost the sector:

• Supporting innovation and collaboration to drive commercial outcomes in cyber security;

• Supporting startups and SMEs to increase investment in and commercialisation of intellectual property;

• Growing exports and attracting investment in the NSW cyber security sector; and

• Close the cyber security workforce skills gap by better aligning the education sector and requirements.

The Cyber Security Connect program will facilitate networking and collaboration across the industry and with other key sectors, the NSW plan states.

The cyber security industry faces challenges in the form of complex and evolving threats, which means products can be quickly superseded, it states. The increasing use of online channels by businesses and consumers opens up more opportunities to exploits security vulnerabilities, it adds.

“The significant technical, research and business capabilities that exist or are developing in NSW can meet these challenges,” the document says. “However, industry consultation has revealed a lack of NSW-specific data on the extent and capabilities of cyber security businesses in the state inhibits the ability of all stakeholders to collaborate and act on potential barriers to industry growth.”

Measures outlined in the plan include the launch of a NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node, making state government procurement policies for digital products and services easier to understand and more accessible to startups and SMEs, and promoting cyber security as a career path.

AustCyber has estimated that Australia’s cyber security sector could deliver annual revenue of $6 billion by 2026, up from around $2 billion. Last year it launched the first Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP), which argued that Australia possesses a number of competitive advantages that local infosec-focused businesses should seek to exploit.

The NSW government in September unveiled its first cyber security strategy, developed under the leadership of NSW chief information security officer Dr Maria Milosavljevic.

In February, the NSW government announced the launch of a new network bringing together major universities to boost cyber security research and development.

“The NSW Cyber Security Network builds capacity and enhances the state’s cyber security skills, thereby developing a talent pool to protect NSW utilities, businesses and public infrastructure from the growing threat of cyber attack,” states the new industry development strategy.

“The NSW Cyber Security Network complements the state’s Defence Innovation Network and the NSW Smart Sensing Network. These collaborations between the NSW Government, universities and industry drive further research into the cyber security of defence-related activities and commercial devices such as small, smart devices that facilitate on-site measurements and remote tracking of health and the environment (pollution, wildlife and human health).”

The full document is available online (PDF).

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