The federal government has announced an AU$8.5 million investment into Australia's cybersecurity industry, to be distributed by AustCyber, a non-profit organisation charged with growing a local cybersecurity ecosystem and facilitating its global expansion.
The AustCyber Projects Fund is a AU$15 million, three-year initiative designed to help the Australian cybersecurity industry grow both locally and globally.
The funding from Canberra will be distributed across 17 industry-led projects, including the development of the Intelligent Trust Evaluation System (ITES) by Quad IQ to dramatically reduce the time to complete security vetting; and the development of a platform by Locii, which fragments, encrypts, and shards user biometrics across multiple trusted servers.
Both of these projects received funding in round one.
They were two of 10 industry-led projects that received funding from the first round of AustCyber's Projects Fund, which provided AU$6.5 million.
Six of the 10 sector challenges identified in AustCyber's Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan 2019 are addressed by other recipients, such as work led by Alpha Beta to develop an interactive heat map of demand and supply for cybersecurity jobs by states and metro areas across Australia; and a virtualised learning platform being led by Fifth Domain.
Other recipients include Cynch Security, which is looking into the impacts of cyber risk with small businesses; Serinus Security, which is developing a threat analytics platform focused on insights into safe Wi-Fi areas; Penten, which will provide fly-away kits to a pilot group of regional SMEs and academia; and Amplify Intelligence and Gallagher's cyber safety service for measuring cyber risks that will be trialled by 100 small businesses, including in regional locations.
See also: Defence gives Penten AU$2.2m to up Australian Army's cyber capability
A chunk of the funding will also be given to AARNet, for its development of a security operations centre service to help institutions monitor, detect, and respond to cyber threats; Airlock Digital and its project to commoditise application whitelisting to managed service providers and smaller businesses; Kortek, Telstra, and Intellidesign, who are working together to deliver a highly secure Internet of Things platform; Responsight and McGrathNicol, for its system for forensic data collection, investigations, and early warning risk analytics based on behavioural activity profiling; and WorldStack, who is working alongside Penten and TSS Cyber on a prototype to address the challenge of data breach detection and bring the solution to market through a customer trial.
AustCyber CEO Michelle Price said the projects will add value to Australia's cybersecurity sector, as well as provide potentially world-leading innovative solutions for all sectors of the economy more broadly.
"The growing demand for cyber security products and services is a significant economic opportunity for Australia. Supporting cyber resiliency improves our nation's overall global competitiveness, as well as its security," she said.
"The Projects Fund is one of our key mechanisms used to identify and support cybersecurity innovation through to commercialisation in Australia, complementing projects funded through industry, research organisations, and other government initiatives."
Price also said it was great to see Australian companies partnering with domestic and international corporates.
See also: Australia isn't buying local cyber and the rest of the world might soon follow
Earlier this week, Australia's Titomic announced signing an agreement with Thales to develop "advanced additive manufacturing methods" to support Thales' development of next-generation soldier weapons systems for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Under the agreement, Titomic will manufacture "lighter, stronger, and better performing" soldier system components.
Titomic is participating in the government's AU$200 billion investment to build a resilient sovereign industrial capability for Australia to deliver advanced technology capability to the Australian Defence Force.
"It's great to see Australian businesses like Titomic making the most of opportunities created through our record investment in defence industry," Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said. "It proves we are developing world-leading capability right here in Australia -- which has tremendous export potential in global markets."