Innovation and commercialisation of capability in Australia’s cyber security industry received a boost today with the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, announcing almost $8.5 million in funding for 17 industry-led projects.
AustCyber’s Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Price, said the projects will add value to Australia’s cyber security sector as well as provide potentially world leading innovative solutions for all sectors of the economy more broadly.
“The growing demand for cyber security products and services is a significant economic opportunity for Australia. Supporting cyber resiliency improves our nation’s overall global competitiveness, as well as its security.
“The field of applications for this round of AustCyber’s Projects Fund was highly competitive and covered a wide range of areas of cyber capability. The recipients were selected through a robust process supported by industry experts, who helped us with the tough job of narrowing down which applications would receive funding.
“The Projects Fund is one of our key mechanisms used to identify and support cyber security innovation through to commercialisation in Australia, complementing projects funded through industry, research organisations and other government initiatives. It’s also great to see Australian companies partnering with domestic and international corporates within the broader ecosystem. AustCyber is excited to be working with recipients and their consortia partners as they deliver on their projects over the next twelve months.”
The AustCyber Projects Fund is a $15 million, three-year initiative designed to help the Australian cyber security industry grow both locally and globally.
The first round of AustCyber’s Projects Fund provided $6.5 million in matched funding to ten industry-led projects. The combined value of the projects provided a total contribution of approximately $35.8 million to growing Australia’s cyber security sector, which has had the double benefit of delivering globally competitive cyber security capability to the world.
Several projects in the second round of the AustCyber Projects Fund build on completed projects from the first round such as:
- the development of the Intelligent Trust Evaluation System (ITES) by Quad IQ to dramatically reduce the time to complete security vetting; and
- the development of a platform by Locii which fragments, encrypts and shards user biometrics across multiple trusted servers so that no single entity has access to a user’s complete biometric vector, improving online safety and eliminating the need to remember many different usernames and passwords. This project will be delivered in partnership with LaavaID, Macquarie Bank, Nu Mobile and the Australian Finance Group (AFG).
Six of the ten sector challenges identified in AustCyber’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan 2019 are being addressed by the successful recipients. One of the main challenges for the sector is the skills shortage, with around 17,000 more cyber security workers required by 2026. Projects that will seek to address this issue include:
- work led by Alpha Beta to develop an interactive heat map of demand and supply for cyber security jobs by states and metro areas across Australia and enable local educators, employers, policymakers, and job seekers to understand the cyber security job market within their local area and beyond; and
- an integrated, virtualised learning platform being led by Fifth Domain to support individual lab training, collective cyber range exercises and dynamic, gamified Capture the Flag style challenges to provide a variety of training experiences to optimise job readiness. This builds on Fifth Domain’s project from round one of the AustCyber Projects Fund which is already driving outcomes in the vocational and higher education sectors.
Two projects are being led by female founders and in both instances, are successful graduates of CyRise’s cyber security accelerator program, projects aiming to:
- deliver and study the impacts of cyber risk interventions by applying the Cynch Cyber Fitness platform to tailor programs for small or micro businesses, by Cynch Security and Deakin University; and
- develop a threat analytics platform focused on insights into safe WiFi areas and identify malicious WiFi trends and behaviours globally, by Serinus Security.
Regional areas will also be supported:
- Penten will provide fly-away kits to a pilot group of regional SMEs and academia so they can access their own classified IT networks on a scalable, multi-tenant service; and
- Amplify Intelligence’s and Gallagher’s cyber safety service will be trialled by 100 small businesses, including in regional locations, to measure cyber risks derived from critical datasets from both an external and internal view of their risks.
Additional projects in this round include:
- AARNet developing a Security Operations Centre service to help institutions to monitor, detect and respond to cyber threats;
- Airlock Digital commoditising Application Whitelisting to Managed Service Providers and smaller businesses, building on their existing enterprise-grade product;
- Kortek, Telstra and Intellidesign working together to deliver a highly secure Internet of Things platform to give stakeholders advanced control over the security and interoperability of their distributed networks through a combination of industrially robust hardware and a programmable operating system that make it possible to securely integrate endpoint devices into any cloud;
- Responsight and McGrathNicol developing a system for forensic data collection, investigations and early warning risk analytics based on behavioural activity profiling; and
- WorldStack, Penten and TSS Cyber working together to accelerate joint development of a prototype to address the challenge of data breach detection and bring the solution to market through a customer trial.
Further information about the other four projects in the round will be available soon.
For more information about the AustCyber Projects Fund and previous recipients, visit www.austcyber.com/grow/projects-fund.
Note: Total project values listed on AustCyber’s website may include in-kind contributions to each project, in addition to the matched cash contributions. In-kind contributions are deemed to have a cash value but are not matched by AustCyber. Additional funding will be directed into the marketing of successful projects.