Does Australia need more cybersecurity specialists?

As cyberthreats to Australia continue to evolve, the shortage of IT specialists must be filled by professionals to provide the best

With Australia’s cyberthreat environment continually expanding, there is a need for more cybersecurity specialists to strengthen the country’s online defences.

A recent press release by the Commonwealth Bank announced that to combat the gaps in the IT career landscape, it will be entering into a five-year partnership with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), providing financial support for PhD students as well as for the development of new courses and a laboratory. This is likely to have an affect on IT recruitment in Australia, which will respond to the specialist shortage by filling in areas of vulnerability with the new research and professionals provided by the alliance.

Australia is vulnerable to malicious activity

According to a 2015 threat report by the Australian Cyber Security Centre, the number of cybersecurity threats in Australia is increasing. malicious organisations are now targeting businesses even if they are not certain of there being any valuable information available. The concerns are further exacerbated by gaps in the knowledge about cyberthreats and the lack of professionals who are equipped to deal with it.

The threat report lists a range of possible sources of risk to Australian networks, including individuals, malicious organisations, and international adversaries. Their methods of attack are constantly evolving, and therefore so must national cyberdefences.

These threats are a serious problem for Australian businesses that rely on information technology for their daily operations, and also contribute to a wider uneasiness about Australian national security. A study by Doctor Greg Austin of UNSW reveals that Australia has been lagging behind in its reply to the growing predicaments of cyberspace, and needs to work on developing response systems to protect its information from attackers.

So what are we doing about it?

The key to protecting Australia in cyberspace lies in the continual development of expertise in the IT specialist landscape.

“In today’s interconnected digital world, we’re only as strong as our weakest link. Commonwealth Bank recognises a shared responsibility to secure Australia’s digital economy, and we’re excited to help educate the next generation of cyber security experts,” said the bank’s Chief Information Security and Trust Officer, Ben Heyes.

Although Australian cybersecurity presents a challenge, is it also an exciting period of opportunity for those with IT careers and contract roles. They can not only expand their specialist knowledge as research continues, but will also find themselves presented with a wealth of available cybersecurity positions for businesses throughout the country.