A NSW Government website

NSW business security in cyber-safe hands

The NSW Cyber Security Workforce and Skills Development Program is working to shape high school and university students into the cyber experts of tomorrow, thanks to $650,000 of Commonwealth investment through the Cyber Security Skills Partnership and Innovation Fund.

This support will be used to expand the successful NSW Cyber Ambassador Program to promote cyber careers, up-skill cyber security students at university and roll out a Cyber Work Experience program for Year 9 and 10 students across NSW.

Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown said the NSW Government was investing in the cyber education sector to create a skills legacy to meet the cyber challenges of the future.

“Small and medium businesses across NSW will benefit from free cyber security checks by students under a new pilot initiative delivered through Investment NSW as part of the program,” Ms Brown said.

The CyberCheck.Me pilot has been developed by Edith Cowan University’s Security Research Institute, the Western Australian AustCyber innovation hub and local governments.

“This paid work allows cyber security students to build their ‘real world’ skills and bridge the gap between study and a career in cyber security, making them more employable as they graduate and enter the workforce.”

The initial $25,000 CyberCheck.Me pilot with Edith Cowan University and Charles Sturt University will enable free cyber-checks for 40 businesses through paid work from a dozen students.

Edith Cowan University Executive Dean of Science Professor Andrew Woodward said the CyberCheck.Me initiative was developed to directly address two significant cyber security challenges.

“We were interested in developing a way to provide cyber security advice to the SME sector, which generally has very limited resources,” Professor Woodward said.

“At the same time, we were interested in equipping the cyber security workforce of the future with vital people skills. CyberCheck.Me tackles both problems by training and paying students to provide cyber security advice directly to SMEs.”

Course director for computing programs at Charles Sturt University Dr Jason Howarth said the initiative will provide valuable workplace learning for their Bachelor and Masters students studying cyber security.

“It will also allow our university to engage with SMEs in the Bathurst community to raise awareness of digital threats and to provide them with the knowledge and skills to help protect their business from cyber-attacks both now and in the future. This is a win-win scenario for all concerned,” Dr Howarth said.

The Workforce and Skills Development Program will be delivered in partnership between Investment NSW, Training Services NSW, and Cyber Security NSW.

Workforce and skills development is one of the four key pillars of the NSW Cyber Security Strategy, launched in May 2021. For more information about the Strategy, visit https://www.digital.nsw.gov.au/.