The NSW government has released its second cyber security strategy for the year, this time focused on supporting the growth of the state’s burgeoning cyber security industry.
The NSW Cyber Security Industry Development Strategy [pdf], released on Monday, is the state’s first strategy dedicated to building cyber security industry skills and capabilities to ensure businesses in other sectors are “cyber security ready”.
It complements and sits alongside the government-wide cyber security strategy - which was released in September and is focused on improving the security posture of agencies - in a bid to create a holistic approach to cyber security.
Developed by the Department of Industry, the new industry strategy is organised around four themes considered central to supporting the sustainable growth of the cyber industry in NSW.
These are: supporting innovation and collaboration, including startups and SMEs; attracting investment and promoting exports, and closing the cyber security workforce skills gap.
The strategy will see the department partner with AustCyber within the next 12 months to establish the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node, which will help connect public, private and research sectors.
It follows consultation with industry that revealed a need to improve collaboration between governments and the cyber security industry.
The node will also utilise the NSW government's Cyber Security Connect program, a new initiative designed to “close the cyber workforce skills gap” by connecting “industries, educational institutions and registered training organisations”.
The program will consist of “capability-building workshops” that focus on export, government procurement processes and business and commercial skills, as well as networking events that help startups and SMEs to connect with investors and cyber security businesses.
Increased early stage product development support for startups and SMEs through grants and loans such as a Minimum Viable Product grant will also be a focus for the department, as will improved access to cyber security testing sites.
The department will also “seek to remove structural barriers to investment in local cyber security businesses and increase the profile of other NSW enabling businesses sector capabilities to help local business consider reinvestment as strategic growth”.
There is also a need to collect more and better data on the NSW cyber security industry to “identify data gaps, set benchmarks, highlight competitive advantages and assist the industry to target growth markets”.
“Limited data is available on the NSW cyber security industry to guide policy development and investment, and to highlight unque strengths,” the strategy states.
“Once industry benchmarking to measure and analyse the sector has been undertaken, government and industry partners can target their efforts to build on competitive advantages.”
The strategy will similarly look to promote cyber security as a career in partnership with the NSW Cyber Security Network, AustCyber, universities and vocational education providers.
It will also support the NSW Cyber Security Network – made up of the UNSW Sydney, Macquarie University, the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong, the University of Newcastle, the University of Technology Sydney and Western Sydney University – where possible to connect with organisations facing cyber security challenge.