Australian cyber security sector revenue soars to $3.9 billion


In 2018, Australia’s external spending on cyber security products and services grew by eight per cent to A$3.9 billion (compared to six per cent growth in 2017).

With the second-highest ‘cyber maturity’ in the Indo-Pacific region and strengths in core skill areas such as quantum computation, wireless technology and high-value niche hardware, Australia is the ideal growth environment for cyber security businesses.

New statistics have been published in the 2019 update to Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan (the Plan).

The Plan draws on extensive industry consultation and research to provide an updated picture of the global outlook, challenges, opportunities and priority actions needed to grow a vibrant and globally competitive cyber security sector that enhances Australia’s future economic growth.

CEO of AustCyber, Michelle Price said, “The aim of the Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan is to provide the economic evidence base for the cyber security industry across business, research and consumer segments to drive growth in the ecosystem, increase exports of Australian solutions, and support Australia to become the leading global centre for cyber security education. The 2019 update indicates strong growth against the data outlined in the first iteration, released in April 2017, reflecting the rapid evolution of this dynamic sector.”

Last year’s update provided a ‘deep dive’ on the skills and workforce gap – one of three key issues holding back the sector’s growth. This year’s deep dive explores the underlying structural challenges of having an inadequate measurement of the sector’s development, and its impact and contribution to economic prosperity.

“A clear view of the maturity and size of Australia’s cyber security sector is essential for strategic growth. Good policy and future investments are contingent upon policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors having a strong picture of the sector on which to make informed decisions,” said Ms. Price.

Cyber security as a business activity, as well as an economic pursuit, cuts across all industries. It includes providers of cyber security capability who comprise the cyber security sector, and organisations in other sectors that employ cyber security specialists. Furthermore, cyber security products and services assist to protect and enable infrastructure, supply chains and value chains of the digital aspects of the global economy, however the benefits of cyber security have not been studied to the extent necessary.

“The measurement of fundamental economic metrics such as the size of the sector and its value added to the economy can serve as a foundation to more sophisticated analysis, such as the broader impacts of cyber innovation across the economy, including its role as an enabler of growth and its contribution to overall prosperity,” said Ms. Price.

The Australian Cyber Security Industry Roadmap (the Roadmap) continues to be a companion document to the Sector Competitiveness Plan to enable growth opportunities for Australia. The Roadmap brings together the expertise and networks of CSIRO Futures, Data61 and AustCyber to identify a common vision and map out the road to success in the cyber security sector and the application of cyber resilience across other growth sectors as case studies for the economy. World-class scientific and technological expertise is applied to steer business, government and society through the challenges we must navigate over the medium to long term, to seize opportunities across all Australian industries.

This year, a second companion document has been released – The CISO Lens Benchmark 2019. CISO Lens is a forum for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) of large Australian and New Zealand organisations. This report aims to enable evidence-based decision making around strategy and resource allocation and is founded on benchmarking completed by CISO Lens founder, James Turner, with cyber security executives to assess how their organisations respond to cyber risks.

“The leading security executives of Australia and New Zealand are keen collaborators because they recognise that they all face the same risks and threat. Their encouragement to publish this benchmark is a demonstration of their desire to make a difference for all organisations in the local ecosystem,” said Mr Turner. “The CISO Lens Benchmark 2019 supports many of the issues raised in AustCyber’s Sector Competitiveness Plan, not least of which is the need for further and ongoing talent development.”