Security focus for $11.4m NSW deal with Data61

Cyber security an early focus of three-year agreement

Victor Dominello

Victor Dominello

The New South Wales government has signed an $11.4 million agreement with the CSIRO’s Data61 arm.

The government said the deal will give it access to Data61’s data science expertise.

Cyber security will be an initial focus of the three-year agreement, which is jointly funded by NSW’s  Department of Industry and Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

“Cyber security has emerged as one of the most high profile, borderless and rapidly evolving risks facing governments across the globe, so it is essential we are at the forefront of new ideas and thinking,” the state’s minister for finance, services and property, Victor Dominello, said in a statement.

The government gave details of two security focused projects: One would use “artificial intelligence models to identify existing and emerging cyber security threats”. Another was the use of blockchain to share security information across government agencies.

The agreement will offer a boost to the private sector, said trade and industry minister Niall Blair.

“The global market for cyber protection is forecast to be worth $170 billion by 2020, and this investment will go a long way to ensuring NSW is a world leader in cyber security which will produce many job opportunities,” the minister said.

Earlier this year the state government announced it had poached former AUSTRAC CIO Dr Maria Milosavljevic to be its first whole-of-government chief information security officer (CISO).

The government recently hosted a ‘speed networking’ event at NSW Parliament with the aim of putting companies that have a local presence and a need for cyber security talent in touch with students from the state’s universities.

The year’s state budget revealed the government plans to spend around $1 billion on major ICT and digital projects.

Data61 recently marked its first anniversary. The organisation was created by a merger between National Information Communications Technology Research Centre of Australia (NICTA) and CSIRO’s Digital Productivity team.

Safety & Security is one of Data61’s key workstreams. In October last year, Data61 formally launched its Cyber Security and Innovation Hub. Data61 CEO Adrian Turner is a co-chair of the federal government-backed Australian Cyber Security Growth Network.

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Tags governmentcyber securityNSW GovernmentNew South WalesData61

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