Georgia jumped onto the cybersecurity bandwagon in a big way this year with the state investing in a massive training center to be constructed adjacent to the Augusta University Riverfront Campus, which is very close to the U.S. Army Cyber Command, the US Army Cyber Center of Excellence and the National Security Agency at Fort Gordon. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced on January 11 that the state will invest $50 million for a cyber range and training facility named the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta that will combine expertise in academia, private industry and government to establish statewide cybersecurity standards. Construction of the 150,000-square-foot facility is underway with the final part of the steel structure being completed in mid-November. In November the state came through with an additional $35 million to build a second facility that will house an incubator hub for technology startups and a training space for state cybersecurity initiatives and workforce development programs, the school reported.
Optus Business and Macquarie University will jointly invest AU 10 million to establish a cybersecurity hub that will provide research, degree programs, executive and business short courses, professional recruiting opportunities, and consultancy services to the private sector and government agencies. Under the partnership, Optus Business and Macquarie University industry experts and academics will cover three topic areas: Computing and IT, business and economics, and security studies and criminology. At the same time it will focus on providing a "holistic approach" to cybercrime, how it is perpetrated, how it affects the economy, and how it impacts policy. The hub will also host cyber awareness events and international engagements that will cover the topic areas. At the same time, Optus said the hub will have a range of initiatives to enhance Macquarie University's teaching and researching offering, as well as equip and upskill its own staff with the latest cybersecurity skills and expertise.
The federal government has announced it will be launching Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence in the hope of improving Australia's cybersecurity through education and research. For a cost of AU$4.5 million, the government expects the centres will help address Australia's shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals. In a joint statement, Education Minister Simon Birmingham and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan said the centres will produce work-ready graduates to increase Australia's cybersecurity workforce and "world-leading" research on cybersecurity, as well as providing executive education programs for both industry and government. Pointing to a survey released on Tuesday that found two-thirds of Australian young adults had never discussed a career in cybersecurity at high school, Tehan said Australia needs to work harder to encourage future employment in the sector as there is a growing demand for cybersecurity professionals. "Australia also needs talented cyber professionals to help protect our national and business interests online and to encourage innovation," Tehan said.
The Commonwealth government has launched its new Cyber Security Growth Centre in Melbourne on Monday, and announced the appointment of Craig Davies, head of security for Australian startup darling Atlassian, as its CEO. Davies will officially take up the role of chief in early 2017, joining former senior vice president and group executive for IBM Doug Elix and Data61 CEO Adrian Turner, who were appointed as joint chairs for the centre in April. The centre will operate as a not-for-profit company and will be known as the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network Ltd when it officially begins in early 2017. With the global cybersecurity market worth $74.5 billion in 2015, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt said the industry-led centre will be responsible for driving the development of a "vibrant and globally competitive" cybersecurity industry in Australia, as well as ensuring Australian businesses can take advantage of the growing market opportunity in cybersecurity. "It will bring together industry, researchers, and governments to create a national enterprise that will provide the foundation for the development of next generation products and services needed to live and work securely in our increasingly connected world," Hunt said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to protect older Australians, businesses, and national security assets from the risk of cyber-attacks if his government is voted back in next month. Mentioned during the 2019-20 Budget that was delivered earlier this month, the pledge of AU$156 million will be used to thwart cybercrime and beef up Australia's cyber talent. The "cyber resilience and workforce package" will include AU$50 million for the creation of a Cyber Security National Workforce Growth Program that Morrison expects will create the cyber workforce the country needs. The Cyber Security National Workforce Growth Program will see the Departments of Defence and Home Affairs work alongside industry and academia, under the guidance of National Cyber Security Adviser Alastair MacGibbon, to create the program. Morrison expects the cyber workforce in Australia to grow through the establishment of scholarships for postgraduate, undergraduate, and TAFE studies directly associated with cybersecurity, reserving 50% of the scholarships for women.