Information security consultant and former Telstra general manager of cyber influence Rachael Falk has been appointed chief executive officer of the Australian Cyber Security Research Centre (CSRC).
The government in September revealed it would invest $50 million to help launch the centre, which is a not-for-profit, industry-led initiative.
The centre is part of the government’s Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program, which is intended to foster collaboration between researchers and industry.
“The Cyber Security CRC will deliver solutions to increase the security of critical infrastructure and that benefit businesses and their customers,” then-assistant innovation minister, Craig Laundy, said at the time.
“These include frameworks, products and approaches that will service existing and future ICT enterprises across a broad range of platforms and operating systems.”
Initially the CSRC will focus on cyber security in critical infrastructure and cyber security as a service.
“We are delighted to have Rachael as our chief executive,” CSRC chair David Irvine said in a statement. “Not only does she bring a wealth of industry knowledge, she will ensure that CSRC collaborates with academia, industry and government to deliver industry-driven cyber security outcomes. We want our research and work to have an impact benefitting Australia both now and well into the future.”
Industry backers of the CRC include Cisco, Optus, Jemena, ActewAGL Distribution, Tata Consultancy Services, Datacom, Pen10, Quintessencelabs and AARNet. The initiative is also supported by six universities and the CSIRO’s Data61 division, as well as state and federal governments.
The research centre is expected to work closely with AustCyber, the government-backed Australian Cyber Security Growth Network.
Last year AustCyber launched a Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP), which outlined the potential for the local information security sector to be transformed into a $6 billion industry by 2026.
The SCP argues that Australia has competitive advantage in a number of areas including software, services that boost the security of basic IT infrastructure, services that help underpin cyber security, such as governance, risk and education, and the development of high-grade security-related niche hardware.