South Australia yesterday celebrated a milestone in the state's cyber security capabilities, with the opening of IT giant NEC's Global Security Intelligence Centre.
Cyber attacks are an increasing threat for the country's defence and security, along with business and government systems, as witnessed as recently as a fortnight ago when the worldwide ransomware attack caused major global disruption.
The $4.38 million NEC Centre is predicted to create 50 highly-skilled jobs and form part of the company's global cyber security network to complement its security-focused facilities and networks of many of Australia's allies in Japan, Brazil, Singapore, USA and Austria.
NEC Australia's chief operating officer Mike Barber said the new centre is an important aspect of the company's global security reach.
"NEC Australia’s new Global Security Intelligence Centre in Adelaide is a key element of NEC’s global security business and reach," said Barber.
"It’s built and operates to high security certifications and standards required by governments and enterprises for the management and support of their data and applications. Zones are built for various levels of security and the zones and operations undergo rigorous assessment to achieve certifications."
South Australia's Minister for Defence Industries, and Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said the opening of the centre is key to protecting Australia from defence, economic and personal threats.
"Cyber security is a rapidly growing sector, and is attracting increasing attention and investment. Governments and businesses alike need innovative products and services to protect them from increasingly sophisticated threats to privacy and security as we saw earlier this month," said the Minister.
"NEC’s investment will help South Australia achieve global prominence in the cyber security field.
"In this age of digitalisation, threats to our economic, personal and national wellbeing mean cyber security must be effective across every aspect of our society, including government, business, defence and research domains. This intelligence centre is therefore helping position South Australia as a global player in what is a growth industry."
The importance of strong cyber security in relation to defence is gaining momentum in Australia. In March, it was revealed that the security of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), an intelligence agency for the Department of Defence, was jeopardised and put at risk due to power supply problems.
The ASD, which seeks to protect Australia from cyber attacks and electronic espionage, was forced to rely on diesel backup generators when it was asked to help with load shedding during times of high temperatures on 10 February.
Various government agencies, like the Department of Immigration and Border Protection are also not considered "cyber resilient" according to a report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).