A message from AustCyber's CEO Michelle Price - December 2021


At year’s end, one that was filled with many challenges, I have to admit that mustering the energy to reflect is also challenging! But it is important to acknowledge and appreciate that in spite of the hardships, there were many achievements. 

First, this month. It was wonderful to attend the Women in Security Awards 2021 in Sydney, along with literally hundreds of others across the cyber and physical domains. The awards recognise the significant contributions and accomplishments of women and companies involved in the cyber security sector, together with male champions of diversity and inclusion. 

Over 600 people were nominated for the 13 awards, including our own South Australian Node Manager Paula Oliver, together with former AustCybers Linda Cavanagh, Louisa Partridge and Mina Zaki. AustCyber was also a finalist for the Best Program for Young Women in Security for our CaDop Program. Simon Carabetta from the WA AustCyber Innovation Hub took home the award for the Male Champion of Change - a huge congrats for a well deserved honour. Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners - and to my fellow judges, I hope our job is even harder next year.

In case you missed it, this month we relaunched AUCyberExplorer, a rebadged and revamped CyberSeek AU, which is now being managed by AustCyber. The platform tracks the state of the Australian cyber security job market in real-time and provides data on the talent gap within the sector. With more jobs being advertised in the cyber sector, AUCyberExplorer helps to bridge the gap between people looking for work, and the companies searching for employees. We’ll also be adding more features in the near future. 

Thanks to Chris PainterHamish Hansford and Vikram Sharma who joined me on this month’s episode of 'OzCyber Unlocked'. We discussed the cyber threat landscape in 2021, critical infrastructure law, Australia's cyber skills shortage, Internet 3.0 and the big trends that will have an impact on 2022 and beyond.

So, 2021. Let’s all say it together. It was *tough* (insert other word/s as desired). And it wasn’t just tough because of lockdowns, vaccines and all things ongoing pandemic. The worst kept secret was our industry was slammed, depending on your point of view, for all the right or wrong reasons. We achieved a lot, despite the hectic cadence and this should be recognised; the media has already done a good job of recognising the increased breaches, compromises and budgetary and talent pressures. Take a moment as you read this to acknowledge at least one thing that was great this year, or even better, at least one person who was great this year. 

I’ll start - to all the #OzCyber companies who raised capital this year, and there were dozens and dozens of you, amazing! To all the #ozcyber companies who better positioned themselves for a capital raise in the first half of 2022, also amazing! To all the non-sovereign cyber companies who partnered with #OzCyber companies, you moved the needle in one of the most productive ways to make all of us more competitive, hazzah! To all the private sector and government entities that procured from #ozcyber companies, welcome to the party or well done you for staying in the party! To us all who dialled up the ways and means to address skills shortages and embed pipeline infrastructure, hats off, it’s well needed. To the improved consultation and nature of conversations on regulatory development and reform, thank goodness! To all the companies in our industry and beyond, especially micro businesses, who made it through to this point without giving up, you’re truly awesome. To every single one of you who didn’t stop caring about our collective mission to kick malicious actors to Middle Earth and lock them in with kilometres of concrete while securing our economy and community - thank you.

Now, I hope you’re either smiling or musing over how much of a break I need. You do too. If you’re having some time off during the summer break, don’t forget to check out Australian Cyber Week on-demand. We’ve pulled all the best bits from Australian Cyber Week 2021 and packaged them up so you can watch/listen to them at any time and on any device. If you had a ticket during the week, access is available right now. For new viewers, tickets are now available at $39. Find out more here.

From my team to you and yours, may you get some time off the screens*, plural, enjoy some sun, preferably with people who you haven’t seen in a long time, and enjoy a safe festive period.