Signals Directorate teams up with uni to expose students to cyber security

By Jackson Graham

Friday November 19, 2021

Andrew Hastie
Andrew Hastie. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

Australian Signals Directorate public servants will partner with honours students from the Australian National University under a new grant program to encourage careers in cyber security.  

The ANU grant, worth $8000 and coined CO-Lab, will bring together the ASD’s analysts and technologists with 30 students studying STEM fields as well as psychology, sociology and languages.

The honours students must be undertaking a research project that aligns with the interests of the ADS, which will offer training, career guidance and mentoring. 

Defence assistant minister   said cyber security needed Australians with a rare mix of specialist skills, including adaptability and imagination. 

It came as ADS director-general Rachel Noble flagged in a speech on Thursday that a quarter of all cyber attacks the organisation responded to were targeted at infrastructure including health services, energy, water and telecommunications. 

“Some were state actors undertaking intelligence gathering, reconnaissance and pre-positioning malicious software most likely with a view to activate it at a time of their choosing to deny, degrade or disrupt critical services to Australians.,” she said. 

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said the grant and the Co-Lab collaboration displayed the university’s national mission. 

“This is a vital initiative as so much of our modern society relies on cyber – and the field will only continue to grow,” Schmidt said. 

“Our students will work with the country’s leading agency on cybersecurity to help build and secure the future.”


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