The Commonwealth Bank will offer the nation's six best-performing information security students $1000 and the opportunity to tour its cyber security facilities under a new prize to be awarded once a year.
The bank has partnered with Monash University, RMIT, Sydney University and UNSW to encourage the take-up of six cyber security courses collectively on offer at the institutions.
The subjects chosen for the prize were deemed critical to cyber security skills, CBA said.
It selected Monash University's information and network security subject, UNSW's security engineering and security engineering worskhop units, and Sydney University's computer network and security and cyber security workshop subjects.
The RMIT prize will go to the top student in its Master of Applied Science (Information Security and Assurance) course.
The first set of awards will be handed out in December. Prizes will be awarded to the top-performing student - those with the best marks - in each of the six courses.
The students will each be handed $1000 as well as free flights and accommodation to travel to Sydney or Melbourne and tour CBA's cyber security facilities.
Commonwealth Bank CISO Ben Heyes said in the weeks since announcing the prize to university students, two participating universities had reported record numbers of students signing up for cyber security subjects.
He said a number of other universities were similarly re-assessing their undergraduate curriculum as a result of CBA's cyber drive.
CBA CIO David Whiteing said there was a big gap between the demand for infosec skills and the number of cyber security professionals currently on the market.
“The growth in digital technology has outpaced the number of highly skilled individuals trained to protect the integrity of the digital services we today enjoy," he said.
“Commonwealth Bank understands that this is an issue which needs to be addressed not just by the government but collaboratively with industry and universities to ensure we’re attracting and adequately preparing for the jobs of tomorrow."
The bank is planning to expand its cyber prize to more universities next year, as cyber security becomes more established in undergraduate Computer Science curriculums.