OCSC Calls on Australia to Improve Cyber Security Resilience for Ourselves and Region

 In Australia, Cyber/ICT, Infrastructure, Space, Threats, Information

The OCSC is a not-for-prof­it col­lab­o­ra­tion of eight uni­ver­si­ties based in Victoria, Australia, with 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 cyber secu­ri­ty issues.

Last week, the OCSC held its inau­gur­al Project Showcase event in Melbourne, with chair­man Cameron Boardman deliv­er­ing an address in which he not­ed that 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 economies 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,” Boardman 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 cen­tre’s eight uni­ver­si­ty part­ners, as well as over 120 spe­cial­ist infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy and cyber secu­ri­ty researchers with­in them, pro­vide the foun­da­tion to work with pri­vate enter­pris­es and the pub­lic sec­tor to iden­ti­fy and devel­op solu­tions to com­plex secu­ri­ty threats. 

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The first ever show­case event allowed lead­ing cyber secu­ri­ty researchers from OCSC mem­ber uni­ver­si­ties to present cur­rent proof of con­cept projects to an audi­ence of some 200 aca­d­e­m­ic peers and indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives. 

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

Nine first-round col­lab­o­ra­tive projects were show­cased in total, with Carsten Rudolph, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor for cyber secu­ri­ty at Monash University and OCSC direc­tor, say­ing 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,” Rudolph 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 cyber secu­ri­ty resilience of Australia and our neigh­bour states across Oceania.” 

The Victorian gov­ern­ment pro­vides “sub­stan­tial sup­port” for the OCSC to car­ry out its oper­a­tions, with its key areas of inter­est includ­ing:

  • Critical infra­struc­ture;
  • Data ana­lyt­ics;
  • Network secu­ri­ty;
  • Cryptography;
  • Privacy and social media;
  • AI and automa­tion; and
  • Organisational secu­ri­ty.

The cen­tre’s flag­ship project is the Cybersecurity Capacity Maturity Model for Nations (CMM), which has been deployed to over 70 coun­tries.

The OCSC works in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the University of Oxford’s Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre to com­plete nation­al lev­el cyber secu­ri­ty capac­i­ty pol­i­cy assess­ments pre­dom­i­nate­ly in the Pacific region.

OCSC’s oth­er key part­ners to deliv­er these projects are the Global Forum on Cyber Security, the International Telecommunication Union and the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre, the region­al inter­net address reg­istry.

To date, the OCSC has com­plet­ed CMMs for Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Kiribati.

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Source: Defence Industry News

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