​NEC to launch AU$4.38m IoT-focused cybersecurity centre in Adelaide

NEC will be launching a new cybersecurity centre in Adelaide, focusing on smart technologies and connected devices.

NEC has announced plans to establish a AU$4.38 million Global Security Intel Centre (GSIC) in Adelaide that will focus on Internet of Things (IoT) security.

The IT services firm expects the cost of cyber attacks against enterprise and government IT systems to rise as the adoption of smart technologies and connected devices that make up the IoT accelerates.

Once established, the centre will form part of NEC's cybersecurity network, with the GSIC expected to complement security-focused facilities located globally, including Japan and Singapore.

The South Australian government has welcomed the GSIC, calling it a major boost to the state's IT capabilities.

"Cybersecurity 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," South Australia Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said.

"It also means the creation of highly-specialised jobs in an area that will be transformational for the local economy."

The facility builds on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) NEC signed in March with the University of Adelaide's Smart City initiative. Under the MoU, the organisations will work closely on research and development with the aim of building efficient, safe, and sustainable cities of the future.

"South Australia is providing NEC with a great base to bring new technologies into Australia. Adelaide is a recognised hub for new technologies and we've worked with a lot of local partners with great intellectual property delivering innovative technical solutions," Mike Barber, chief operating officer NEC Australia, said.

"We see the cyber security demand in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region as a huge opportunity aligning with the company's global vision."

Telstra's former CTO Vish Nandlall said previously that Australians are networking their homes at twice the rate of Americans and are eager adopters of the IoT, with US homes having an average of four devices connected to the internet in 2014, a rate well below its tech-hungry Australian counterparts.

By the end of 2016 some 6.4 billion "things" -- devices from toasters and kettles to cars and hospital equipment -- will be connected to the internet, according to analyst firm Gartner.

That figure represents a 30 percent rise from 2015 and Gartner expects this figure will grow further to reach 20.8 billion by 2020. By this year, as many as 5.5 million new things will become connected every day and as a result, the growing IoT will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015, the analyst predicted.

The GSIC further expands NEC's presence in Australia, with CrimTrac awarding NEC a AU$52 million contract in April to replace the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System in 2017.

Northern Territory Police also announced a partnership with NEC Australia in September to integrate facial-recognition technology for its database of photographs, CCTV footage, and videos taken from phones, body-worn cameras, and drones.

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