Data breaches reinforce need for greater cybersecurity resilience to protect Australia’s national interests

Projects to increase cybersecurity capability and capacity for Australia and region.

Australia’s leading cybersecurity research organisation, the Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC), has called on policy makers, industry and research communities to place a greater emphasis on improving cybersecurity resilience to protect the national interests of Australia and its close neighbour states across the Oceania region.

Speaking at the inaugural OCSC Project Showcase event in Melbourne today, OCSC Chairman, Cameron Boardman, said the rapid growth and proliferation of notifiable data breaches was proof that Australia and its smaller neighbouring island states remain ill-equipped to deal with arguably the most proximate and prominent threat to their respective economic and national security.

“The number of notifiable data breaches is growing steadily and significantly. Understanding where the gaps are is critical to lessening the ability of bad actors or cyber criminals to attack a nation, its peoples and their allies,” he said.

“It’s also important to note the stepping stones or ‘hop points’ for a cyber attack are not just limited to smaller, developing economies. There are examples of cyber attacks where trusted suppliers in ‘developed’ economies have been infiltrated to gain access upstream into more secure environments.”

The OCSC’s eight university partners, and the over 120 specialist information technology and cybersecurity researchers within them, provide the foundation to work with private enterprises and the public sector to identify and develop solutions to complex security threats.

“The OCSC is committed to working with the Australian and regional governments to prioritise and drive projects that can help build national cybersecurity capacity across Australia and the region and create a free and safe cyberspace for all,” Boardman concluded.

The Project Showcase event provided an opportunity for leading cybersecurity researchers from OCSC member Universities to present current proof of concept projects to an audience of some 200 academic peers and industry representatives.

In total, nine first-round collaborative projects were showcased, demonstrating the broad range of current OCSC research fields.

Carsten Rudolph, Associate Professor for Cyber Security at Monash University and Oceania Cyber Security Centre Director, said the event not only presented an opportunity to showcase the projects underway, but also provided a critical juncture between researchers and industry to strengthen opportunities for further collaboration and applications.

“An important part of our remit at OCSC is to not only showcase the available research but to catalyse collaboration opportunities between universities and the wider industry communities, including both private enterprise and the public sector,” he said.

“We are proud to present the first round of nine collaborative projects and we are committed to seeing them through to fruition as tools and solutions with real world practical applications that can improve the cybersecurity resilience of Australia and our neighbour states across Oceania.”


About the Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC):

The OCSC is a not-for-profit collaboration of eight Universities based in Victoria, Australia. The Centre obtains substantial support from the Victorian Government and has the broad aim of engaging with government and industry to conduct research, develop training opportunities and build capacity in Australia and across the Oceania region for responding to current and emerging cybersecurity issues. Some of the key OCSC areas of interest include: Critical Infrastructure; Data Analytics; Network Security; Cryptography; Privacy and Social media; AI and Automation; and, Organisational Security.

The OCSC’s flagship project is the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model for Nations (CMM). The OCSC works in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) to complete national level cybersecurity capacity policy assessments predominately in the Pacific region. OCSC’s other key partners to deliver these projects are the Global Forum on Cyber Security (GFCE), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Regional Internet address Registry for the Asia Pacific (APNIC). To date, the OCSC has completed CMMs for: Samoa; Tonga; Vanuatu; PNG; and, Kiribati.

For media inquiries please contact:

Kate Pacalt-Shady
0404 090 272