Craig Davies, chief executive officer of the new Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (ACSGN), is pleased with last week's trade mission to the RSA Cyber Security Conference in San Francisco.
This first collaboration between ACSGN and Austrade, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, saw 32 delegates [PDF] from 26 Australian cybersecurity companies meet with security vendors and potential vendors from the US and elsewhere.
"We're really happy with the week. Great sessions that helped our Aussie firms understand the opportunity in the US market, and people here were very giving of their time and knowledge," Davies told ZDNet.
"We'll be tracking how the companies that came take advantage of the week. We know a number had a great week with meetings with key VCs and potential partners, as well a better understanding of the road ahead if they should decide to expand in the US market."
The mission coincided with the launch of the government's Cyber Security Industry Capability Report [PDF], essentially a promotional brochure for Australia's cyber industries.
The ACSGN is an industry-led not-for-profit company that aims to position Australia as an attractive location for cybersecurity research and innovation. It was first announced as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December 2015, and is a key part of the Australian Cyber Security Strategy released in April 2016.
Last week's delegation included representatives from Australian cybersecurity firms archTIS, Cogito Group, Covata, Cryptsoft, Datacom TSS, Enosys, Foresight, FunCaptcha, Haventec, Huntsman Security, Ionize, JanusNET, PS&C, Randtronics, ResponSight, Salt Group, SC8 Technologies, Secure Code Warrior, Sense of Security, Shearwater Solutions, Shelde, Tesserent, and Triskele Labs, among others.
They met with US-based companies including Dell, Cisco, Google, Juniper Networks, Symantec, Visa, Salesforce, and venture capital firm TAL Global Corporation, as well as Amadeus Capital Ventures (UK) and others.
A reception mid-week was co-sponsored by Quintessence Labs, an Australian company that has partnered with the University of New South Wales to commercialise some of Australia's world-leading advances in quantum computing.
Australian startups also met with businesses already operating in the US market.
"Hamish Hawthorn from UpGuard, Casey Ellis from Bugcrowd, and Greg Clark from Symantec were fantastic in their openness on the challenges they have faced being in the US. These sessions were the most popular with the delegation, helping them get some deep insights," Davies said.
Last week's mission also saw the launch of an Australian cyber mascot, the Cyber Roo ( @Cyber_Roo).
A cyber kangaroo security rating system had originally been proposed in December 2016 during the 360° Cyber Game conducted jointly by RAND Corporation and the National Security College (NSC) at the Australian National University (ANU). The ACSGN has adopted the mascot as its own, however, and the inflatable beast accompanied the delegation as it toured Silicon Valley.
"[Cyber Roo] is one way to spark interest, then we follow up with the capabilities of Australian business and education, but the Cyber Roo starts that conversation," Davies said.
ACSGN is now working with Austrade to partner on future events.
Disclosure: Stilgherrian travelled to San Francisco as a guest of RSA Security LLC.