Govt gets Atlassian security clout for new cyber centre

Govt gets Atlassian security clout for new cyber centre

Former head of security, Craig Davies, will head up the government’s Cyber Security Growth Centre

Craig Davies, former director of security at Atlassian

Craig Davies, former director of security at Atlassian

Atlassian’s former head of security, Craig Davies, is set to head up the federal government’s new Cyber Security Growth Centre when it begins operations in early 2017.

The Cyber Security Growth Centre is aimed at driving the development of a vibrant and globally competitive cyber security industry in Australia - it will operate as a not-for-profit company known as the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network.

The proposed Centre is a key part of the government’s $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda as well as the Australian Cyber Security Strategy.

Under plans announced by the federal Minister for Industry, Innovation, and Science, Greg Hunt, the government will allocate $31.9 million in funding for the growth centre from 2016-17 to 2019-20. It will begin operating in early 2017.

Davies, who was head of security at Australian enterprise software company, Atlassian, from September 2013 to December this year, has been secured as the Cuber Security Growth Centre’s incoming CEO, according to Hunt.

“Mr Davies is an industry veteran with over 20 years’ experience in technology and cybersecurity areas with a reputation for delivering innovation in security,” Hunt said in a statement.

With Davies at the helm, Hunt said that the industry-led Growth Centre will ensure Australian businesses can take advantage of the growing market opportunity presented by the information security landscape.

“It will bring together industry, researchers and governments to create a national enterprise that will provide the foundation for the development of next generation products and services needed to live and work securely in our increasingly connected world,” Hunt said.

The Growth Centre is intended to work closely with industry sectors across the local market to boost the professionalism of the nation’s cyber security workforce, as well as its numbers, and to help Australia become globally competitive and respected in the field.

According to Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, Dan Tehan, a strong cyber security profile underpins Australia’s economy, and is a major priority for the government.

“It is a fundamental element of our prosperity and confidence, and is absolutely vital for our national security,” Tehan said. “Cybercrime costs the Australian economy a conservative $1 billion annually.

“Our commitment to improving cyber security will create opportunities for Australian businesses to grow their operations and reach new markets with their innovations,” he said.

The new Centre will have a national footprint and will work closely with Australia’s cyber security sector.

It will operate out of several nodes across the country, with the dispersed footprint aimed at connecting fragmented cyber security activities and bridging capabilities and expertise nationally.

The plans for the new Cyber Security Growth Centre come as the recently-departed chief digital officer of the government’s Digital Transformation Agency, Paul Shetler, highlights inefficiencies in the public sector’s technology project and IT procurement processes.

“Our procurement and funding processes encourage big IT programmes, with bigger contracts," he said.

"They drive a culture of blame aversion which creates the perverse outcomes and actually increases risk."

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