Optus Business has forged a partnership with Macquarie University in establishing a multi-disciplinary Cyber Security Hub that aims to support businesses and government with ways to recognise and protect themselves from increasing cyber threats.
The new Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub will provide research, short professional courses and consultancy services to the private sector and government agencies.
This partnership represents a $10 million investment by Optus Business and Macquarie University that will draw on the expertise of Optus and Macquarie University academics from various disciplines and industry experts to cover three academic areas: computing and IT; business and economics; and security studies and criminology.
The partnership also includes degree programs, executive and business short courses, professional recruiting opportunities and thought leadership through cyber awareness events and international engagements in areas such as intelligence, technology, criminology, finance and governance.
Optus Business managing director, John Paitaridis, said it will focus on providing a holistic approach to cybercrime, how it is perpetrated, how it affects the economy and how it impacts policy.
“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.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Paitaridis mentioned that 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,” he added.
Macquarie University deputy vice-chancellor of corporate engagement and advancement, David Wilkinson, said the partnership supports the Federal Government’s recent cyber security strategy – which outlines plans to make Australia a cyber-smart nation.
“The new Cyber Hub will have a range of initiatives to enhance Macquarie University’s teaching and research offering.
“Optus’ workforce will also be a key focus, with the partnership increasing awareness, as well as equipping and upskilling staff with the latest cyber security skills and expertise. Optus will offer the same opportunity to its enterprise and government customers,” he said.
According to Wilkinson, education underpins the very success of the government’s cyber strategy, and is the cornerstone of any cyber security program.
“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,” he said.
“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.”