Keeping our professional and personal digital information safe is why cyber security is so important – in fact, it’s big business. According to a Microsoft commissioned study from Frost & Sullivan, cyber security-related incidents are costing Australian businesses up to $29 billion a year. Many of these attacks can be prevented by increased education and awareness of cyber security practices.
Norton Security estimates that by 2023 nearly 33 billion records per year will be stolen by cyber criminals, with identity theft and bad credit ratings just two of the ways cyber security breaches can affect Australians. With this in mind, if you’re an IT professional working in the public sector and are looking to upskill yourself or your team, below are some strategies that can help.
Increase education around cyber security to empower your colleagues
Cybercriminals look for weaknesses in your system’s security. Therefore, your cyber security is only as strong as your weakest link. In order to prevent potential attacks, your team needs to be educated on cyber security best practice, and how to identify threats. Kapersky Lab and B2B’s survey of over 5,000 worldwide businesses showed that 46 percent of cyber security incidents are caused by employee carelessness, highlighting the internal need for increased cybersecurity awareness.
Reinforcing education around cyber hygiene is something that can protect important business and customer data. Implementing processes such as regular application updates, regularly changing passwords, user privilege audits, and multi-factor authentication are just some ways employees can enforce stronger cyber security.
Provide access to academic research centres for personal development
Academic research centres aim to increase cooperation between government bodies and academics. By studying trends in cyber threats and developing methods to stop them, academic research centres are a key part of the fight against cyber threats. The centres’ findings can be used by IT professionals to improve their safeguards against cyber threats.
In April 2016, the Australian Government launched the Academic Centres of Cyber Security Excellence (ACCSE) program as a part of a $230 million Cyber Security Strategy. This program, established at both the University of Melbourne and Edith Cowan University, was designed to address the education gaps in Australia’s cybersecurity knowledge.
It aimed to do so by:
- Building Australian’s cyber security by promoting study in the area
- Increase the number of graduates ready to confront emerging threats in cyber security.
Research centres like the ACCSE program aim to nurture new cyber security professionals who are ready to champion cyber security across the private and public sectors. These centres will continue to develop with the help of current IT professionals who are eager to build their cyber security knowledge and assist public sectors in Australia.
Address the knowledge gap in cyber security
The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber) has released an updated Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan, which reveals that there is a shortfall in cyber security workforce, to the tune of about 2,300 workers. Worryingly, the country will also need up to 17,600 additional cyber security workers by 2026, highlighting a significant gap that needs to be filled.
This new round of AustCyber Projects funding of $8.5 million is set to provide more upskilling and expansion opportunities for the Australian cyber security industry. By transitioning skilled IT personnel into cyber security professionals –via postgraduate study –the gap in the Australian job market can be alleviated.
For those with an interest in cyber security, or in an existing role in IT, you can study your Master of Cyber Security online at Edith Cowan University, one of two of the Academic Centres of Cyber Security in Australia. This degree also provides students with excellent industry connections to organisations such as Bank West, Commonwealth Bank, WA Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Delivered in an accelerated and 100% online format, the ECU Master of Cyber Security can be completed in as little as two years. This allows you to continue your full-time IT work while growing cyber security skills for an expanding and exciting job market.
Providing industry-leading cyber security research and education, ECU’s Master of Cyber Security can benefit Australian public sectors by developing cyber security experts with advanced technical skills.