Australia has the all the ingredients within reach to establish itself as a top player in fintech cyber security innovation on the global stage and cement a vibrant security industry domestically, but collaboration is key.
According to Data61 chief executive, Adrian Turner, speaking at the National Fintech Cyber Security Summit, as a nation, we have this moment in time to drive national alignment, but must be aware of our global context.
“We have to be bold. We certainly have the intellectual ability within institutions, we have the support, the willingness, the entrepreneurialism to make it happen. We have a defence policy within government that is being communicated,” he said.
Turner spoke about Data61 as a ‘growth centre’ and said its main focus is to bring together the research industry and governments to create a national cyber security network and develop a national strategy for Australia’s security industry to become a global leader and attract investment from multi-nationals.
Stone & Chalk chief executive, Alex Scandurra, also stressed the importance of collaboration and blending both private and public sector to leverage the opportunity to create and commercialise export grade fintech cyber security innovation within the nation.
“We want to bring two sides of the market together. We have the opportunity to bring large organisations, including government, to represent the demand side of the equation and then bring the supply side, that is, top research organisations like Data61 and key Universities, together with top start-ups from the private, corporate space, to create and commercialise.”
As head of Australia’s largest fintech innovation hub, he mentioned that the cyber-security startup applicants in the country were lacking.
“Not having a large sustainable, cybersecurity ecosystem domestically, poses quite a threat. We need as a country to not continually rely on the US or Israeli markets to provide our security capability. It’s like outsourcing our defence force of the 21st century,” he added.
The Australian Government assistant minister for innovation, Wyatt Roy, agreed with Turner and Scandurra in that Australia needs to grab hold of the opportunity to market the nation's security products and services and businesses and our fintech enterprises to an increasing global marketplace.
“Across the broad innovation agenda, we are investing in key areas with 24 new policies in the National Innovation and Science Agenda, and we are making a direct investment into fintech,” he said.
“The Turnbull Government has established a National Fintech Advisory Panel which has provided recommendations to the Government and the Prime Minister is actively considering these recommendations at the moment.
"The government will be making strong announcements in the near future in regards to what we are doing with fintech in this country. We are also creating a new cyber ambassador where we can work with our key international partners to drive innovation in this space. We are creating what we are calling, a ‘cyber-smart’ nation,” he said.
IT-Harvest chief research analyst, Richard Stiennon, said overall, the cyber security industry is growing at 24 per cent CAGR and currently, there are 1440 security vendors that exist around the world today, driven by demand in the market.
“There is a vibrant investment community that looks for the next technology, and the large vendors cannot predict what the new demand will be for new products or services, so they acquire the ones that are successful and growing the fastest. You never see Symantec or McAfee inventing the next best thing.”
He questioned, “If you accept the fact that the industry is going to grow to $640 billion by 2023, which is just around the corner, what are you going to do differently? Are you going to acknowledge your security budgets? If you are not increasing your security budgets, you will be breached and afterwards, you will be spending catch-up money.
"So spend your investment in preventing the breach, not in response to the breach,” he added.