With cyber security becoming a core concern for businesses and playing an increasingly important role in the everyday lives of Australians, supporting the development of local cyber security skills is paramount.
The importance of promoting Australia’s cyber security skills was highlighted in November 2014, when former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced the launch of the government’s Cyber Security Review, with a key objective of the review being to ‘look for ways to better address Australia’s cyber security skills needs’.
BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has been actively involved in industry working groups as part of this Review, working closely with the Australian Government to determine how we can better protect ourselves as a nation, within industry and in our homes.
In its formal submission to the Review, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence called for Government to invest in building cyber security capacity, including providing seed funding to support a cyber apprenticeship scheme as part of the National Cyber Security Strategy, arguing such a scheme would deliver much-needed capacity and lower the cost of accessing cyber security advice entry for SMEs and larger organisations. Increasing Australia’s cyber security skill base will also be a strong driver for substantial future economic growth:
Australia can be a consumer of cyber security goods in the future digital world, or it can be a supplier. There is a substantial economic benefit to creating an environment which encourages investment in cybersecurity research and development to produce cyber products for the world, the submission argued.
Following the Victorian Government’s announcement of $4.7 million in Back to Work funding for Box Hill Institute’s Jobs Engagement Team (JET) initiative in June, and in anticipation of the release of the Cyber Security Strategy expected later this year, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has been working with the Box Hill Institute to develop the first Australian Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Scheme program.
Malcolm Shore, Technical Director Australia, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, said, “There is an increasingly worrying lack of cyber skills being developed in Australia and a growing dependence upon overseas sourcing of skills. Industry needs to support the development of Australia’s cyber security skills capacity.
“This cannot wait any longer – the time for talking is over. Action is needed now, and we believe the Cyber Apprenticeship scheme is one way BAE Systems Applied Intelligence can contribute to the future security, wealth, and growth of Australia.”
The Australian Cybersecurity Apprenticeship program will be launched as a pilot program in 2016 for 20 to 30 apprentices. It will have a similar structure to the successful Trailblazer scheme BAE Systems Applied Intelligence has been involved with in the United Kingdom. The apprenticeships in the program will be open to both school leavers and adults wishing to re-skill into the cyber security field.
“As with any industry, the cyber security industry needs a range of skill sets to fulfil market requirements. While there’s a requirement for investing in many years of training to deliver graduates who can then embark upon a career leading eventually to positions as senior security managers, there is a substantial foundation of technician level skills which can be achieved through a blended work/study arrangement such as the Certificate IV apprenticeship course we are developing with Box Hill Institute of TAFE.”
“Now, more than ever, Australia needs to substantially boost its cyber security capacity and capability. The best way to do this is to build a strong local cyber securities skills-base. BAE Systems Applied Intelligence’s partnership with Box Hill Institute will provide an important template for achieving this goal across Australia,” Dr Shore said.
The launch of the Government’s review into Australia’s cyber security standing followed comments in March last year by Australia’s Information and Communications Technology Research Centre of Excellence, NICTA, warning that Australia could miss out on the chance to build an internationally competitive cyber security industry if it doesn’t foster an agile ecosystem to create opportunities and challenging careers locally. 1
Supporting apprenticeships has long been a tradition for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, where in the UK it will be taking on a record 710 apprentices this year, a number of which are being taken into the UK e-skills Cyber Security Apprenticeship Scheme.
Other recommendations BAE Systems made to the Cyber Security Review around skills development in cyber security included:
- Encourage existing academic programmes to invest in more research through establishing a Cybersecurity Research Centre, supported with an incubation scheme to move successful research into private industry,
- Invest in research internships, and
- Provide incentives to encourage businesses to employ and train first-job graduates.
Further information on BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a defence company with a long history of driving successful innovation in massively complex integrated systems. We have been helping to defend the largest nations and businesses in the world for over forty years against advanced threats.
We help nations, governments and businesses around the world defend themselves against cybercrime, reduce their risk in the connected world, comply with regulation, and transform their operations.
We do this using our unique set of solutions, systems, experience and processes – often collecting and analysing huge volumes of data. These, combined with our Cyber Special forces – some of the most skilled people in the world, enable us to defend against cyber-attacks, fraud and financial crime, enable intelligence-led policing and solve complex data problems.
We employ over 4,000 people across 18 countries in the Americas, APAC, UK and EMEA.