Cyber Node given nod

The Sunshine Coast Council has landed a Cyber Security Innovation Node, one of only two regional nodes appointed in the country.

Delivering increased cyber security capability, talent and education programs across the region, as well as fast-tracking cyber security exports internationally, the Sunshine Coast Cyber Security Innovation Node will play a strong role in AustCyber’s national network of nodes.

Queensland is the only state in Australia to host three Cyber Security Innovation Nodes, which has been made possible through a strong partnership between the Queensland Government, AustCyber and each local government authority, including Sunshine Coast Council.

With the global spend on cyber security products and services expected to exceed US$250 billion by 2026, the Sunshine Coast is supporting Australia’s role in shaping the international cyber marketplace, and is capitalising on this emerging industry.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said the establishment of this Node is an important next step for the region after the activation of the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network in March.

“The Sunshine Coast now provides the fastest international data and telecommunications transmissions from Queensland and the east coast of Australia to Asia, which makes our region a logical location for the development of leading-edge cyber security capabilities and expertise,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“High value initiatives such as this, which we identified early on in our submarine cable journey, will generate exciting new employment and industry development opportunities that will underpin our region’s economy.

Queensland Minister for Innovation Kate Jones said cyber security was going to become more important to businesses into the future.

“It’s important we build our local industry. The Node will connect and upskill Queensland cyber companies. This means growth and jobs. But also security and success for local businesses,” she said.

“The cyber security industry has the potential to almost triple in size over the next decade, with revenues expected to increase from $2 billion in 2018 to $6 billion by 2026.

“There are opportunities for Queensland companies to grow to respond to local demand as well as export opportunities.

“In particular there are growth opportunities where cyber security supports priority industries, including defence, medtech, mining technology and services, advanced manufacturing, food and agriculture.”

COVID-19 has resulted in many small businesses increasing their online presence, which in turn broadens opportunities for cyber-crime like credit card fraud, identify theft, hacking online accounts and ransomware.

Professor David Lacey, Director of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Institute for Cyber Investigations and Forensics and Board Member of IDCARE, Australia’ and New Zealand’s national identity and cyber support service, said the demand for IDCARE’s community support services was up 28 per cent.

“COVID-19 has seen a real shift to remote working and the associated use of new technologies. But this has also meant more people are working remotely without the benefit of a colleague checking to see if an email or text message received is legitimate or not,” Professor Lacey said.

“This is showing us there continues to be a gap in practical knowledge on how to be secure online.

“The Sunshine Coast is emerging as an international hub on cyber security and innovation. Some real gems have emerged on the Sunshine Coast delivering services that are now in high demand.

“IDCARE spearheads cyber incident response for a lot of big companies, particularly financial institutions for incident response,” Professor Lacey said.

The University of the Sunshine Coast is the only tertiary institution in Australia providing both Cyber Investigation and Forensics courses, making the region a prime recruiting ground for untapped talent.

CEO of local cyber security company Point Duty Luke Cloudsdale said today’s intelligence operations required new technologies capable of linking and analysing the ever-growing and diverse amount of data being generated, particularly in our fight against terrorism and cyber-crime.

“The size and complexity of data is exploding, and being able to respond rapidly is a fantastic opportunity for our business on the Sunshine Coast.

“The new Node will foster increased focus on this active sector, encouraging home grown and also attracting external qualified resources to the Sunshine Coast,” Mr Cloudsdale said.

Together with the Sunshine Coast international broadband network project, the Cyber Security Innovation Node will further position the Sunshine Coast as an attractive destination for digital champions, entrepreneurs and start-ups that continue to build the region’s intelligent community status.

Image: Maroochydore Cable Landing Station

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