ECU Cyber Policy Forum in Perth this week


EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY will welcome Australia’s top cyber security experts to Perth this week to discuss how to protect Australians from cyber threats.

The Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, Mr Michael Pezzullo will deliver the Forum’s keynote address. “The magnitude of the digital threats faced by Australians has increased. They will become more acute as our society and economy become increasingly connected. As the threat evolves, so too must our response,” said Secretary Pezzullo.

Cybercrime is a growing cost to the Australian economy, with the overall impact on businesses estimated to be in the billions of dollars every year.

“The threat of online adversaries is ever evolving. As a community we need to stay ahead of those threats,” said Edith Cowan University (ECU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Chapman.

The Cyber 2020 Forum is being held at ECU – home to the $140 million-dollar Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, a collaboration between industry, government and the research sector.

“ECU’s cyber security research and education team is one of the best in Australia and one of the leading groups in the world.

“We are pleased to host the Cyber 2020 Forum alongside the Department of Home Affairs, a true reflection of our position among global leaders in the field of cyber security,” said Professor Chapman.

Head of Australia’s Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, Rachael Falk, said the Cyber 2020 Forum is critical to ensuring the government can meet the challenges of the digital age. “It is essential that we take this opportunity have robust debate with the best and brightest around how best to predict, protect and detect threats against individuals, businesses and critical infrastructure. This requires close collaboration between industry, government and the research sector,” said Ms Falk.

The Cyber 2020 Forum will assist government in the creation of a new national cyber security strategy, which will be the successor to the 2016 Cyber Security Strategy.

Follow up public consultations on the Cyber Security Strategy are were held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane last week.

The Perth forum will focus on four themes including emerging cyber threats and vulnerabilities and how best to build cyber skills in the economy.

“This will set the tone for a series of thought-provoking discussions among leaders of industry, academia and government on how to best place Australia to meet the challenges and reap the benefits of the online environment,” said Secretary Pezzullo.

One of those challenges is the skills shortage in the cyber security sector. It is expected that over the next decade, Australia will need more than 60,000 skilled professionals to fill the looming employment gap in the cyber security industry.

Edith Cowan University is one of only two Australian universities recognised by the Australian Government as an Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence (ACCSE) to address the national shortage of highly skilled cyber security professionals.

“We have one of the fastest growing cyber security programs in the country to meet the appetite for experts in this field,” said Professor Chapman.