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Government of South Australia - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

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    Unveiling South Australia’s cyber capability: a rising force in the digital world

    South Australia is an expanding hub for cyber innovation, collaboration and capability.

    South Australia is an expanding hub for cyber innovation, collaboration and capability.

    Over recent years, a synergy of government support, academic expertise, and private sector commitment and investment has seen the state attract a wealth of leading cyber security companies and startups.

    Our ascent in the cyber realm is testament to our academic excellence, industry partnerships, and government support.

    The state boasts world-class academic institutions offering specialised programs in cyber security, producing a steady stream of skilled professionals, and fostering deep research into advanced cyber capability. These include the University of Adelaide, which includes the Defence and Security Institute and Flinders University, which includes the Jeff Bleich Centre for Democracy and Disruptive Technologies.

    At the same time, the establishment of innovation precincts such as Lot Fourteen in Adelaide – home to the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre (Aus3C) – has provided a rich ground for collaboration, knowledge exchange, innovation and growth within the industry.

    Amid this remarkable progress, challenges persist and opportunities thrive.

    Demand for cybersecurity talent continues to outpace supply – according to the ACS Digital Pulse Report 2023, the number of South Australian tech workers focusing on cyber security is expected to grow from 1,000 in 2022 to 2,000 by 2030.

    It is critical that we invest now in accelerating emerging talent, facilitating interventions for career changers, and providing current and relevant education and training programs. Promoting diversity and attracting skilled professionals from diverse backgrounds will be essential steps in addressing this challenge.

    Another key challenge for South Australia is cementing the state’s cyber resilience in an economy that is built from a significant number of small businesses, alongside critical sectors such as defence and space, and our commitments under the AUKUS agreement.

    Safeguarding the supply chain which sits within our defence industry – and, indeed, our broader critical infrastructure – is critical to our state’s prosperity.

    The Department for Industry, Innovation and Science recognises the cyber security sector’s economic growth potential. Through our cyber industry growth program, we’re fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness, and adopting best practice.

    SA Cyber Industry Capability Matrix cover Page 1

    South Australian Cyber Capability Matrix

    The South Australian Cyber Capability Matrix is a complete directory of the state’s cyber companies and the areas of cyber security they specialise in, including governance and identification, protection, detection and response, and cyber research.

    First released in October 2023, the matrix was produced to take stock of South Australia’s cyber sector capability, to promote it – both domestically and internationally – and to encourage collaboration between government, industry and research institutions.

    In addition, we’re delivering key connector events for cyber talent to connect, such as the Cyber Pivot ‘speed networking’ event, which brought together cyber security companies, and larger organisations with cyber teams, together with cyber students, graduates, and existing workers looking to pivot their careers into the cyber sector.

    This month, the inaugural BSides Adelaide ‘unconference’ connected the cyber security community at all levels, comprising multiple villages of themed cyber experiences together with structured presentations, break-out groups, workshops and capture the flag events.

    Helping everyday businesses, no matter how small, to recognise the value and benefits of cyber security will be crucial to building the state’s cyber resilience.

    The Office for Small and Family Business has partnered with Aus3C to deliver the Cyber Uplift Step Program, an affordable and accessible training program to connect small businesses with cyber professionals and mentors, providing knowledge, confidence and skills to implement cyber security measures.

    And we’re also working to strengthen the state’s innovation ecosystem through increased collaboration, investment and support for startups and small to medium enterprises to drive the cyber sector’s continued growth and competitiveness.

    Ensuring South Australia's cyber industry continues to flourish will require a collective effort from all to address challenges, harness opportunities and strengthen South Australia’s position as a security partner of choice.

    Paula Oliver leads the SA Cyber Industry Growth and Innovation programs in the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science, and has worked in various cyber security and risk related roles within the South Australian Government over the past 16 years.

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