by George Nott

Optus Business and Macquarie University launch $10 million cyber security hub

May 30, 2016
Collaboration SoftwareData CenterEducation Industry

Optus Business and Macquarie University are launching a $10 million cyber security hub, offering degree programs, short courses for executives and businesses, and professional recruiting opportunities to the private sector and government agencies.

The ‘Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub’ will also be represented at cyber awareness events and international engagements in areas such as intelligence, technology, criminology, finance and governance.

The joint investment will draw on Optus’ expertise and leading Macquarie University academics to focus on “providing a holistic approach to cybercrime, how it is perpetrated, how it affects the economy and how it impacts policy” in three academic areas: computing IT, business economics, and security studies criminology.

Optus’ will use the hub to upskill its own workforce in the latest cyber security skills and offer the same opportunity to its enterprise and government customers.

“As Australian enterprises and government agencies increasingly embrace the digital economy and shifting consumer expectations of online experience, cyber security is a top priority for executives and boards,” said John Paitaridis, managing director, Optus Business.

“While cyber attacks are increasing in frequency and sophistication, most organisations lack the right expertise and skills across their business to identify and manage these attacks.

“As organisations adopt more online and digital channels, they also need to have a fully integrated approach to cyber security involving all staff training, management buy-in, effective technology solutions and knowledge of today’s cyber threats.

“The Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub addresses all these areas, providing businesses and government agencies with a unique and unparalleled cyber offering to help them navigate a complex landscape. We are committed to empowering every person, business and organisation to confidently operate in the digital world, and this partnership is a significant step in helping us deliver on that promise.”

The agreement comes just weeks after the launch of the government’s $231.1 million Cyber Security Strategy.

David Wilkinson, deputy vice-chancellor corporate engagement and advancement at Macquarie University said education underpins the very success of the government’s cyber strategy, and is the cornerstone of any cyber security program.

“Cyber security has become one of the defining issues of this decade, which is why Macquarie University was one of the first in the country to establish a dedicated policing, intelligence and counter-terrorism degree.

“The opportunity to partner with Optus, an organisation that deals with cyber threats and challenges on a daily basis, was something we welcomed as it enables us to improve cyber security education at all levels – from the c-level executive through to every employee.

“By collaborating with industry to tailor our study programs, we give our students a head-start in their careers, placing them at the top of Australia’s cyber security talent pool. These initiatives will also work to support the wider expansion of cyber security training within organisations to better secure and protect their networks and infrastructure.”

In December last year the Commonwealth Bank and the University of New South Wales announced a $1.6 million, five-year partnership to develop a centre of expertise for cyber security education, aimed at boosting the nation’s reserve of quality security engineering professionals.