Box Hill Institute is spearheading the development of the Cyber Security National Program, as it prepares to roll out its new advanced diploma in cyber security.
The program has received state government investment of $4.7 million from the $50 million TAFE Back to Work fund to support Box Hill to develop its cyber security qualifications.
Box Hill Institute worked with industry to develop the advanced diploma, which is not only focused on preparing students for cyber security work in the defence industry, but also telecommunications and banking.
Led by Victorian TAFEs in partnership with TAFEs from every state and the ACT, the program will deliver common qualifications across the country based on courses developed at Box Hill
Commencing in term one 2018, the Cyber Security National Program will partner with industry nation-wide to provide on-the-job experience for students and address the national skills shortage in cyber security.
The state TAFEs are looking to lobby the federal government to fund a national cyber security internship program and participating TAFEs will form local industry reference groups to ensure delivery is meeting industry needs.
Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis said the state is looking to lead the nation in the fight against cyber crime.
"Victoria is leading Australia when it comes to cyber security," the minister said.
"We’re attracting more investment so Victorians are protected from cyber crime and winning a larger share of the booming global cyber security sector."
Victoria is already home to the CSIRO's Data61 Cyber Security and Innovation Hub, which opened in Docklands in 2016 and is on track to create 140 specialist jobs, including positions for PhD students.
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney said the need for cyber security graduates is increasing immensely, with cyber crime costing the nation’s economy about $17 billion a year.
"It’s vital we have job ready graduates to fight the increasing threat of cyber crime," she said.
Victoria is not alone in its push for increased education in cyber security; Defence SA recently hosted a Cyber Ready Forum to prepare the next generation of cyber security professionals for the defence industry.
The forum, hosted at Adelaide's TAFE SA, included an introduction to TAFE SA’s new cyber courses and an education and skills panel, discussing how people can develop cyber security skills and benefit from the huge employment opportunities in the lucrative US$126 billion cyber security market.
The forum was part of the state government’s Cyber Ready series aimed at building cyber awareness and security among South Australian companies, including those bidding for work in the defence industry.
Defence and Space Industries Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the forum strengthens SA’s reputation as a hub of cyber security and builds the state’s cyber capabilities, which are vital to the defence sector.
"South Australia is home to some of the world’s most complex projects, including the upcoming naval shipbuilding program, so it is important our companies are armed with cyber-ready capabilities," Minister Hamilton-Smith said.
"The state has been working to reinvent itself through defence and shipbuilding contracts. But what’s also emerged is a fierce start-up culture and a very strong cyber security sector. For example, we are now home to major cyber security firms including NEC and Veroguard."
A recent cyber hack, which saw sensitive information about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Australian naval vessels and defence aircraft stolen from a small business in South Australia, is a timely reminder of the risks cyber vulnerability poses to the defence industry, Minister Hamilton-Smith said.
"Just recently we saw how cyber vulnerability is a very real and serious threat in the defence industry, with hackers stealing sensitive information on several major projects, including the Joint Strike Fighter," Minister Hamilton-Smith said.
"We are working to establish South Australia as a hub for cyber security, which will not only protect our sensitive information and defence projects from cyber-attacks, but generate huge employment opportunities for our local workforce."
The cyber thief was able to gain access to the network of the 50-person aerospace engineering firm, that had been subcontracted by the Department of Defence, and stole restricted technical information on the P-8 Poseidon, C-130 and the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guidance kit.