A trio of education network and cyber services bodies has joined forces to provide more comprehensive protection from cyber security threats to the higher education sector.
The University of Queensland’s Australian Computer Emergency Response Team (AusCERT), along with the Council of Australasian Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) and Australia’s Academic Research Network (AARNet) have teamed up to better address sector’s unique security challenges.
The Australasian Higher Education Cybersecurity Service (AHECS) will focus on developing coordinated facilities tailored education and research institutes in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
The University of Queensland said in a blog post that universities need a “mature understanding and approach to deal with increasingly sophisticated cyber threats,” which the AHECS initiative will enable by building group strength through engagement, advocacy and support.
Such a service would be highly beneficial to the sector as state-sponsored hackers turn towards universities for intelligence gathering, a point driven home by the Australian National University's multiple data breaches in the last 12 months, as well as the recent breach at the Australian Catholic University.
AHECS also plans to cater to all knowledge levels to ensure a comprehensive security ecosystem by developing training programs running from introductions through to specialist courses.
Topics to be covered in training materials include recognising and responding to social engineering attacks, information security standards, incident planning and response, security automation, and digital forensics.
Additionally, AHECS will offer research, consultancy and reporting services across the higher education community, government and vendors.
“AHECS also hopes to provide coordinated support to institutions by developing a security operations centre that would detect, analyse, respond to and report on cyber security incidents,” UQ added.