| 18 June 2014

New cyber security research centre protecting Australia’s outlook

Media release: 17 June 2014

Engineers Australia welcomes the launch of the new Australian cyber-security research centre dedicated to building knowledge of national cyber threats.

According to Peter Hitchiner, Chair of Engineers Australia’s IT Engineering College, it is essential Australia develops its skills and understanding in the area of cyber security in order to protect national assets into the future.

“Australia’s digital capability is an emerging enabler of economic growth in this country. Other economic sectors will rely more and more on technology for their expansion, resulting in increased responsibility in cyber security protection. 

“Growth in the digital economy will come from advances in the engineering profession in a wide range of industries such as: telecommunications, control and automation in utilities, manufacturing, and smart cities. But perhaps one of the biggest growth areas will be the security requirements that are a necessary partner to – as well as being a part of – technological development and any systems requiring Software Engineering (ITEE).

 “Society will only become more reliant on technology, as will our economy, so it is critical we get Australia’s security right. This will be especially so for the large-scale infrastructure running on computer control systems that underpin our day to day lives, such as: electricity generation, air traffic control systems, water treatment and major transport systems carrying hundreds of thousands of people each day.

“Cyber research and security is to be taken more seriously than ever before; critical data must be kept safe as it travels across multiple devices and networks. Cyber criminals are getting smarter, more technologically savvy, and are willing to try anything to disrupt or destroy systems.

“Expecting to outsource our digital economy capabilities will lead to unacceptable dependence on the good will of competing economies, which is not good enough. Australia as a nation cannot afford to be overly dependent on others if we wish to sustain or improve our economic standing in the world. 

“It is encouraging to see Australia taking measures in this area by establishing a cyber-security research centre. We must draw on our own domestic capabilities to protect Australia against national and international cyber threats,” said Mr Hitchiner.