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Cyber Security at Australia US Business Week (AUSBW)

Michaela Browning, General Manager, Established Markets and Special Adviser to the CEO on Strategy and China Policy, Austrade

AUSBW's digitech stream included a cyber security program highlighting Australia's interest in developing cyber security capability, including collaboration between government and industry. It also helped identify further opportunities for Australian companies in the US market.

Austrade developed the AUSBW cyber security program, and consulted with Data 61's Adrian Turner, CEO of Australia's largest data innovation group; Robert Rodriguez, Chairman and Founder of US-based Security Innovation Network (SINET), whose mission is to advance innovation by connecting global investors, entrepreneurs and buyers; and the department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet's Cyber Policy team, to identify and engage key players in the US market.

More than 40 Australian delegates took part in the program held in Silicon Valley. At Stanford University, cybersecurity experts led a discussion outlining evolving threats and future strategies, and leading US 'big data' company Palantir delivered a keynote address. The program also included a visit to US cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks, where the Cyber Threat Alliance, a group of leading cybersecurity companies which share threat information in order to improve defences, held a panel discussion. Companies in the Cyber Threat Alliance include Intel Security, Fortinet, Symantec and Palo Alto Networks.

AUSBW provided an opportunity to connect some large multinational businesses with small Australian start-ups and specialist businesses. It also enabled connection with venture capital firms. Lynwen Connick, who was responsible for cyber security policy at PM&C and development of the new national Cyber Security Strategy, also joined the AUSBW digitech delegation, and led the delegation for some key meetings on cyber security. AUSBW took place in advance of the launch by the PM in April of the new Cyber Security Strategy.

Feedback from Australian delegates reinforced the benefit of continuing engagement to enhance cyber security-related bilateral trade and investment, and strengthening engagement on scientific research, innovation and commercialisation. There are strong indicators that there is US interest in strengthening commercial and capability links with Australia in this area.

Nuix is an Australian company already established and growing their presence in the US. CEO Eddie Sheehy said AUSBW gave the delegation great insight into the importance cyber security is gaining in business priorities in Silicon Valley, both in terms of investment and private sector capability development.

"AUSBW showed Australia in a great light and started to move the image of Australia in the technology capital of the world, to being a much more tech savvy, and good place to do business, than perhaps stakeholders had realised," Mr Sheehy said.

Founder and CEO of Australian data security specialist QuintessenceLabs, Vikram Sharma, said a strong cybersecurity posture was dependent on a cohesive multi-layered defence.

"An unparalleled opportunity exists for Australia to be globally recognised for excellence in critical elements of robust cybersecurity architecture. Our strong research, and corporate and federal capabilities in the sector position us well to leverage this opportunity to create high quality jobs in Australia and generate significant export earnings. In particular, we have strengths in cybersecurity analytics and the generation and management of the highest quality encryption keys.

At QuintessenceLabs we are seeing our leadership in key generation and management increasingly being recognised through deployments at a number of Fortune 500 companies, and in the Federal and Defence sectors. AUSBW offered a valuable opportunity to expand our network within the all-important US cybersecurity market."

The new national Australian Cyber Security Strategy is building on this lead, by helping Australian cyber security businesses to grow and prosper, and by driving investment. The landing pad opened in San Francisco at RocketSpace during AUSBW will also assist Australian companies establish their businesses in the US market.

Eddie Sheehy and Vikram Sharma
Eddie Sheehy, CEO of Nuix and Vikram Sharma, CEO of QuintessenceLabs


Last Updated: 26 August 2016
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