Charles Sturt expert urges wider government cyber security plan

3 JULY 2020

Charles Sturt expert urges wider government cyber security plan

A Charles Sturt University expert endorses this week’s federal government funding boost for Australia’s cyber security capacity, and urges further government funding for cyber security education and tax relief for the cyber security industry.

  • Largest ever Australian Government investment in cyber security aims to spend almost $1.4 billion in the next 10 years
  • Charles Sturt expert urges a holistic cyber defence approach and said supporting just one agency will not be enough
  • He argues the government should consider subsidising cyber security education and provide tax relief for the cyber security industry

Professor of Computing and Associate Head of the Charles Sturt School of Computing and Mathematics Professor Tanveer Zia was commenting on the federal government’s program ‘Cyber Enhanced Situational Awareness and Response’ (CESAR).

“This is the largest-ever Australian Government investment in cyber security, and the program aims to spend almost $1.4 billion in the next 10 years to enhance Australia’s cyber security capability,” Professor Zia said.

“This is a much-needed federal government investment, especially in the wake of recent state-sponsored cyber attacks on Australia’s information assets.”

Professor Zia noted, however, that the majority of the focus seems to be funding the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), and said supporting one agency will not be enough.

“There is no doubt that ASD plays a vital role in defending Australia’s information assets through the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC),” he said.

“But cyber security is a race between attackers and defenders, whoever stays a step ahead wins the race.

“Innovation and research in cyber security is very important in order to stay ahead and be proactive, and I think we need a holistic cyber defence approach.

“The government must also consider supporting universities, other research organisations, and the cyber security industry to develop their cyber security capabilities and develop innovative cyber defence measures.

“As part of this the government should consider subsidising cyber security education, and provide some type of tax relief for the cyber security industry.”

Professor Zia said many research organisations and cyber security industries are feeling financial pressure, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are also many small and medium businesses that can’t afford adequate cyber security solutions,” he said.

“Often these businesses face the frontline of cyber attacks, so increasing the opportunities for cyber security education will also help.

“Many information workers realise this, as evident from a spike in Charles Sturt University’s cyber security courses.

“Our 2020 mid-year intake for Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security has received 176 applications compared with 44 last year - four times the number of people who are interested to increase their cyber security skills.”


Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Professor Tanveer Zia contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via news@csu.edu.au

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