NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node now open

The New South Wales government and AustCyber have jointly launched the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node in a move to work with industry on cyber innovation and grow the local cybersecurity workforce. 

The innovation node, to be co-located within the Joint Cyber Security Centre in Sydney, is the first of its kind in NSW, but the sixth in Australia. The other nodes have been established in Victoria, the ACT, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania. 

According to NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node manager Stephenie Andal, the node will focus on two work streams to "facilitate collaboration among cybersecurity stakeholders, drive cutting edge innovation, and economical opportunities". 

The first stream will be to take an industry-led approach to cyber security innovation. Part of that, Andal said, was the innovation node establishing an advisory committee to help lead it.

"This is where we'll strategically address key opportunities and also the challenges of cyber. We'll also work in close alignment with a number of businesses across NSW who are invested in developing leading-edge cyber security opportunities for the state," she said. 

The node's second work stream will be to train cybersecurity graduates through a workforce development program. 

In addition to the opening of the innovation node, Andal confirmed for "alignment" purposes that the NSW Cyber Security Network, which is the coordinating body for the innovation node, will now be known as the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node.         

The opening of the node was originally announced as part of the NSW government cybersecurity industry development strategy in November last year. 

It comes as the NSW government works to boost state's cybersecurity capabilities. In May, the state government launched Cyber Security NSW, naming chief cybersecurity officer Tony Chapman as the leader. Designed to sit within the Department of Customer Service, Cyber Security NSW is responsible for enhancing whole-of-government cybersecurity capabilities and standards on behalf of NSW. 

It follows on from a request by the NSW Auditor-General in March 2018 asking the state to create a whole-of-government capability that encourages the sharing of cybersecurity and threat information. 

During the Auditor-General's probe, it was revealed that out of the 10 agencies investigated, two have good detection and response processes, four had a medium capability to detect and respond to incidents in a timely manner, and the remaining four had a low capability.  

While it was found most agencies have incident response procedures, some lacked guidance on who to notify and when, while some did not have response procedures at all.