‘Resisting the cyber scourge: four critical priorities for financial services’ – Craig Davies, Chief Executive, Australian Cyber Security Growth Network


We live in a time of rapid transformation – of business models and growth opportunities – none more so than in financial services. This is happening alongside increasing cyber threats, posing complex risk to our businesses, our customers and ultimately our economy.

More than ever, technological innovation and cybersecurity are being applied as business strategies to help manage risk and enable growth. The blurring line between a traditional cybersecurity business and a fintech business continues to accelerate, and for more mature organisations, cybersecurity is now just part of business.

For organisations throughout Australia, it is important to have clear visibility of the digital opportunities available. Also critical is understanding who will make the best cybersecurity partners for your evolution.

The Australian Government, as part of its national Cyber Security Strategy, outlined the importance of cybersecurity as a growth sector in the economy and announced an industry growth centre to support and grow the ecosystem. In January this year, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (ACSGN) was formed as the growth centre, with one objective: grow Australia’s cybersecurity sector and deliver a measurable economic benefit to the country.

The ACSGN is currently tracking well over 100 Australian cybersecurity providers and we will discover more as we continue to map the ecosystem. The ACSGN can introduce you to these providers who can help you to get the best value for your investment.

Showcasing some great Australian successes in cybersecurity solutions will help Australian organisations to see the possibilities that exist in our own market. We also know there are a range of issues across the ecosystem that we can help solve.

A key initiative of the ACSGN is Australia’s first Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP). The SCP describes the global outlook for cybersecurity and identifies the potential for Australian cybersecurity solutions. We have also mapped the challenges we see to the ecosystem and what Australia needs to do to build a competitive industry, including four major knowledge priorities.

These priorities are important to the Australian economy as a whole, but particularly to the fintech segment:

1. Emerging prevention, detection and response technologies

Australian researchers in cybersecurity are highly regarded globally. By partnering researchers with Australian businesses, we can start working on solving the core challenges around prevention of harm from malicious cyber activities. These partnerships can also improve Australian detection and response capabilities by helping businesses to access new ideas and test them in the real world.

2. Identity, authentication and authorisation in the cyber domain

Managing identities and authorisation along with authentication to online systems is an incredibly challenging area for many businesses. We want to work with as many businesses as possible to look at innovative ways to simplify identity management, along with authentication and authorisation. Getting this right will allow Australia to become a leading place for digital services, lowering costs and increasing efficiency across the entire economy.

3. Ensuring security, privacy, trust and ethical use of emerging technologies and services

Australia has an incredible reputation for trust and legitimacy in our business environment. The use of ethical approaches to computing and security is an area that Australia can demonstrate to the rest of the world the possibilities. When you think about areas like cloud technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), self-driving cars, machine learning and the opportunity that big data and analytics have, we need to ensure there is an understanding of the ethical use of these innovative technologies.

4. Innovative approaches to deal with the increasingly shared responsibility of cybersecurity

Another big opportunity is how we ensure we have a better understanding of how people interact with technology and the impact that has on improved cybersecurity. Educating the broader community on the challenges of cyberspace helps ensure successful information sharing, how we look at the interdependence of business and national security and, importantly, a more mature focus on economic prosperity using appropriate technology.

Visit the ACSGN website (www.acsgn.com), provide feedback on the SCP, become a “Friend of the Network” and be part of the ongoing conversation needed around cybersecurity to support Australian business to take advantage of the opportunities available online.