NAB and La Trobe partner to lift Australia's cyber capabilities

The university and the bank have formed a 'strategic alliance' to deliver cybersecurity-focused research, teaching, and workforce development
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has partnered with La Trobe University on an initiative aimed at lifting the nation's cybersecurity capability.

The "strategic alliance", NAB said, will deliver cybersecurity-focused research, teaching, and workforce development.

NAB will work with La Trobe researchers to develop technical solutions that the pair hopes will lead to commercialisation opportunities in cyber intelligence, protection, digital forensics, reverse engineering, malware detection, and response.

See also: NAB admits it shared personal info on 13,000 customers with two external parties

The bank will also contribute to La Trobe's cybersecurity curriculum as a new member of the Optus La Trobe Cybersecurity Hub Advisory Committee, and will have cyber leaders present as guests or sessional lecturers.

NAB will propose operational, technical, legal, and business research questions for La Trobe Masters' students and will provide scholarships and internships to "high-achieving, employment-eligible" students.

The parties said they will also work together on developing new cyber training short courses for NAB and other staff, based on NAB and clients' problems; while La Trobe will provide NAB staff with short courses as well as opportunities for Research Higher Degree and Masters by Coursework programs, including La Trobe's Master of Cybersecurity program.

"We are delighted to join forces with NAB as one of Australia's leading banks to create new knowledge, find solutions for industry problems, and train the cyber workforce of the future," La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said.

"Partnering with NAB will provide us with an added level of invaluable expertise. We are already researching the latest malware detection and sensing techniques, and the opportunity to expand this research to areas such as data detection and forensics analysis will benefit all Australians."

According to NAB, the alliance also includes the potential for the two to co-invest in shared facilities, including a security operations centre or a cyber laboratory in the future.

NAB in April announced it had partnered with RMIT Online on a new online cybersecurity course, hoping to address Australia's cybersecurity skills shortage.

In July, NAB also launched two in-house education initiatives aimed at upskilling staff in the areas of data and analytics and the ethics involved in using such technologies. The launch of the guilds follows the bank in April last year standing up the NAB Cloud Guild, an internal program similar to the Data and Analytics ones that offer AWS skills training.

NAB executive general manager for infrastructure, cloud, and workplace Steven Day told ZDNet in May that senior leadership were also undertaking training, specifically around the business side of cloud.


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