Region/Countries: Australia, Australia and New Zealand Industry: Other Date: October 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: With a new cybersecurity strategy, the government will invest more than $176 million over the next four years, and Wisconsin companies can help provide solutions.

The rapid evolution of the Internet of Things and how companies conduct business and sharing information is creating new security concerns for both the government and private sectors. A joint study by Cambridge University and Lloyd’s has found that the Australian economy has $12 billion in exposure to potential damages over the next decade. Sydney, Australia’s economic and business hub, is particularly at risk, ranked twelfth out of 301 global cities in terms of exposure to cyberattacks. The threat of cyberattacks is a global concern that affects organizations in all sectors regardless of size, and opportunities exist for Wisconsin companies to deliver solutions to government and industry.

In response to the challenges, the Australian government launched a National Cyber Security Strategy in April. As part of the strategy, the government will invest more than $176 million over four years to enhance cybersecurity capabilities, deliver new initiatives and develop new business opportunities of global significance.

Priority areas include:

  • $29 million for the development of partnerships between the public and private sectors;
  • $104 million for improving cyberdefense, including $11.5 million for small businesses;
  • $5 million for global collaboration, including the creation of a cybersecurity ambassador role whose responsibility will be to seek out new technology and best practices in responding to cybersecurity threats from around the globe; and
  • $29 million for growth and innovation through the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Similar to comments made at the Annual Governor’s Cyber Security Summit by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated that “governments and businesses must be focused on the cybersphere,” and emphasized the importance of bringing government and business leaders together to combat cyberterrorism. One example of private industry working with government includes the recent launch of the IBM National Cyber Security Centre in Canberra.

The health care sector in particular has a high risk of cyberattacks and is in need of solutions. A 2016 review conducted by the Ponemon Institute found that 48 percent of health care agencies surveyed reported incidents involving loss or exposure of patient records in the last 12 months. At the same time, small suburban medical and dental centers are also extremely vulnerable to attack.

Wisconsin companies are encouraged to review Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy to identify relevant areas of expertise, to stay informed about tender opportunities via AusTender and to consider identifying and working with local partners that can respond to opportunities as they arise. Wisconsin organizations are also encouraged to attend/exhibit at premier industry events such as Cyber Security Centre Conference in March 2017 and Cebit Australia in May 2017, which attract key decision-makers from industry, government, and the commerce and service sectors.