Official launch of Australian Cyber Week prompts opportunity for knowledge sharing across the ecosystem

Cyber Week On-Demand

Just a few short weeks ago, Australian Cyber Week 2021 was held online and in-person across Australia. With 20+ events, the week celebrated our evolving sector and explored fresh ideas to make us all more cyber aware. 

Our first event on Monday 25 October reviewed the past 12 months of unprecedented cyber activity and its impact on the Australian and global economy.

The Hon Melissa Price MP, Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Science and Technology, opened the event and said, “Australian Cyber Week plays an important role in advancing the work of the nation’s cyber security sector. It’s a chance to showcase our national capabilities, and for international and domestic stakeholders, to work together to strengthen Australia’s overall cyber security settings.” 

With an estimated 7,000 jobs required in the cyber security sector by 2030, Ms Price also announced the second round of the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund. More than $60 million dollars in grants will be available to educators and industry.

A panel of industry experts including Kate Pounder, Sarah Baily, Innes Willox and Dr Lesley Seebeck joined host Michelle Price at the official launch event.

Kate Pounder, CEO of the Technology Council of Australia, said that to lift cyber resilience, we need the right people with the right skills. “Our concern at the moment is that there’s just not enough people training in cyber skills areas.” Ms Pounder also explained that the sector was one of the hardest to recruit for. “Our research shows that cyber security is one of the top areas for vacancies … taking an average of 60 days [to fill], compared to 44 [for other industries]. We need to excite more people to join the sector and hire a broader spectrum of people to fill critical gaps.”

Penten’s CFO and Executive Director Sarah Bailey believes it’s crucial for businesses to continually review processes. “My go-to advice is to absolutely consider your information security at all times,” she said.

Innes Willox, Chief Executive at the Australian Industry Group, emphasised the importance of supply chains and how our future communications will continue to be digital. He said, “It’s never too late to seek advice both from the government or outside companies. Businesses need to be prepared to ask questions.”

Dr Lesley Seebeck, Honorary Professor and CEO of Cyber21, explained that businesses need to further adapt to the digitally connected world – not just in plans, but in real-world applications. She said, “Digital touches everything. We cannot do any form of business or life without doing something in the digital world.”

As Australia was recently named as the sixth most hacked country in the world, the panel also discussed critical infrastructure, why it’s vulnerable to cyber attacks and what we’re doing to minimise our risk. Also on the agenda was the new AUKUS partnership and how it impacts Australia’s security position in the region. 

Tickets are now available for ‘Cyber Week 2021 On-demand’. Catch up on what you missed, or simply re-watch the session, by visiting: www.cyberweek2021.austcyber.com.