Plan at a glance

2020 Overview

  • At least US$147 billion was spent on direct cyber security products and services globally in the last year

  • The gross value added of Australia’s cyber security sector is approximately A$2.3 billion

  • 26,500 workers are employed in cyber security in Australia

  • 43% of cyber security businesses are exporting globally

  • There are now at least 350 sovereign cyber security providers in Australia

  • Australians spent approximately A$5.6 billion on cyber security from local and international providers in the last year

  • Australian cyber security providers generated A$3.6 billion in revenue – A$3 billion from the domestic market and A$600 million from international markets

  • Most of the businesses in Australia’s cyber security sector are young – 40% are under five years old and 66% are less than ten years old

  • Collaboration in the sector is very high – 33–44% of startups partner on product and service delivery solutions

  • Like most businesses, cyber security providers are having to change how they operate – 51% report this as an effect of COVID-19

Outlook for 2024

  • A$1.4 billion in additional revenue generated by the Australian sector

  • 7,000 additional jobs added to Australia’s economy, totalling 33,500 in the workforce

  • $7.6 billion spent on cyber security in Australia from local and international providers

Growth Challenges

  • 1. Market access barriers

    Procurement processes make it harder for the local sector to access customers

  • 2. Innovation maturity

    Many younger cyber providers struggle to access finance and skills to commercialise their solutions

  • 3. Export presence

    Australian cyber providers are not yet tapping the full potential of regional export markets

  • 4. Skills shortages

    While the skills pipeline has grown rapidly, maintaining momentum is critical

Actions for sustained growth

  • 1. Support Australia’s digitising economy

    • Ensure that Australia’s digital growth is secure by design and in application, supporting productivity and trust across the economy
    • Improve protection of industries that are rapidly digitising such as healthcare and manufacturing
    • Support the Australian Government’s cyber security agenda and encourage direct engagement with sovereign cyber capabilities by governments and industries
  • 2. Capture global export opportunities

    • Build upon our existing relationships with export markets in the US and UK
    • Expand our presence into high‑potential markets in Asia
    • Be ready to take advantage of opportunities in Europe
  • 3. Incentivise innovation and capital flows

    • Focus efforts in cyber security research hubs to concentrate R&D strength
    • Grow and mature Australia’s cyber security innovation infrastructure
    • Promote increased investment from the right sources at the right time to better support cyber security company growth
  • 4. Improve market maturity and access

    • Support businesses in the sector to mature and scale
    • Ensure government and large corporate procurement promotes market access
    • Provide a supportive regulatory environment that builds and retains resilience and trust
  • 5. Develop the skills of the future workforce

    • Ensure growth in the nation’s cyber security skill pipeline is maintained
    • Lift cyber literacy of leaders and decision makers across governments and private sectors, regardless of organisational size or value chain positioning
    • Transform Australia’s cyber security workforce to capture benefits of diversity and inclusion


Michelle Price

Michelle Price

Chief Executive Officer, AustCyber

The Australian cyber security sector is coming into its own. It is well positioned to enable the uptake and application of trusted digital technologies and practices in the global economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cyber security continues to be one of the most rapidly expanding sectors worldwide, with global spending on cyber security products and services increasing by 30 per cent from 2017 to 2020. This year alone, Australians spent approximately A$5.6 billion on cyber security from both local and international providers, a figure that is expected to increase to A$7.6 billion by 2024.

While the pandemic is having economic impact on Australia’s cyber security providers, it has accelerated digitisation trends and driven unprecedented domestic demand for cyber security. Trust in digital infrastructures and the data they carry is the mainstay of recovery from the pandemic – but also the means to drive productivity and effective diversification of the economy’s base. This is reflected in a range of industries that have not traditionally been recognised as digitised industries, and are now seeking robust cyber-physical protection.