The seemingly inexhaustible hunger for innovation among Australian defence agencies is shaping as a key instrument in combating the growing threat from cyber attacks, according to Dtex founder and chief technology officer Mohan Koo.
Koo told Defence Connect that while he had seen a widespread awareness in defence circles that Australia really must catch up in terms of its cyber security stance, there remained some standard challenges around addressing the issue in the context of large bureaucracies.
"We're trying to do the best that we can to help them catch up," he said. "The difficult thing, I guess, in dealing with any government anywhere is the bureaucracy that you have to go through to make change happen."
However, Koo was upbeat about the growing momentum of measures taken to step up to the challenge.
"There is a drive to do that, and one of the things I'm really impressed about with Australian defence is that they are taking innovation seriously," he said. "If you look at any other defence organisation or an agency in any country, it's difficult to onboard new technologies [or] to change processes.
"It's difficult to change policies, because you've got to go through that bureaucratic process to get there. In cyber security, if it takes a year, two [or] three years to initiate change … that's a whole lifetime."
Koo said that the specifics of fighting cyber threats had dramatically evolved in the last two to three years.
"We need to enable organisations to onboard these technologies and change their policies, processes and cultures much, much quicker … to have a good effect on cyber security," he urged, hailing Defence's launch of the Centre for Defence Industry Capability as a prime example of this new emphasis.
"Their job is actually to rapidly identify and onboard new and innovative technologies that can help Australian defence," Koo said. "That is a really good initiative. It is really working and I hope that wider government can adopt a similar approach."
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