Cyber security is now one of the most rapidly expanding industries globally, as governments, the private sector and research community have begun to boost their spending and investment in an effort to fend off perpetrators of malicious cyber activities. Further, trust and confidence in a cyber secure economy paves the way for enhanced growth as the world seeks out new economic opportunities in the interface between physical and virtual domains.
Malicious cyber activity is a growing challenge for organisations worldwide. It ranges from straightforward online fraud—such as scams using email, websites or chat rooms—to sophisticated cyber espionage and calculated cybercrime, used by adversaries to steal secrets and other information stored in a digital format on systems and networks.
Malicious cyber activities have the potential to seriously harm not just an organisation’s business and reputation, but also to compromise a nation’s security, stability and prosperity. The number of incidents has spiked in recent years, as perpetrators aggressively exploit flaws in digital infrastructure. This has catapulted cyber security to be a front-of-mind issue for business leaders, regulators and politicians who are anxious to shore up defences and improve resilience.
The growing demand for cyber security products and services provides a significant economic opportunity for Australia. Australia’s growth prospects are sizeable if it succeeds in focusing on the unique strengths and advantages it possesses in cyber security. This is true even though the domestic cyber security sector is still in its infancy and the Australian market has so far been dominated by foreign players.
The role of the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network Ltd (ACSGN) is to set the direction for Australia’s cyber security industry to advance and prosper and offer a trusted source of cyber security capability to organisations at home and abroad. ACSGN is part of the Australian Government’s A$250 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative, which aims at tapping new sources of economic growth by maximising Australia’s competitive advantage in six knowledge-driven, high-value sectors. Growth Centres are enabling organisations to become more innovative, collaborative and export-focused. They are improving commercialisation pathways and link great solutions with global supply chains, while enhancing workforce skills and shaping regulatory reform. ACSGN is also a key initiative of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy, which identifies that cyber security growth and innovation is as important to Australia’s cyber security posture as tackling cyber threats.
Growth Centres are independent, not-for-profit entities. Each Growth Centre has an industry-led Board, recognising that the private sector is best placed to overcome challenges to innovation, productivity and growth. In the case of cyber security, Australian governments are as important to the development of the industry as the private sector and the research community – they too are consumers of cyber security products and services and major employers.
Based on a wide range of interviews with the private sector, policymakers and researchers (see Acknowledgements), ACSGN has developed a Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP) to identify the challenges Australian organisations face when competing in local and international cyber security markets. The SCP provides a roadmap to strengthen Australia’s cyber security industry and pave the way for a vibrant and innovative ecosystem. It articulates the steps and actions required to help Australia become a global leader in cyber security solutions, with the aim of generating increased investment and jobs for the Australian economy.
Table of Contents
- 1. The Global Outlook for Cyber Security
- 2. The Potential of Australia’s Cyber Security Industry
- 3. Challenges to Australia’s Cyber Security Industry
- 4. Building a Competitive Australian Industry
- 5. The Role of ACSGN
- Appendix A: Industry Knowledge Priorities
- Appendix B: Methodologies and Assumptions