Australia to set up cyber-security complex

Canberra, Dec 15 (IANS) Australian government will partner with Oxford University to set up an ultra-modern cyber security complex in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, it said on Tuesday.

The government for the first time will allow one of the group’s one-of-a-kind security hubs to be erected outside Britain, Xinhua reported.

Under the agreement, eight of the state’s universities, the Melbourne-based Defence Science Institute and other private companies will be enlisted for the project.

These hubs carry out audits of national cyber risks. Two will be set up and begin operating in the first half of 2016, according to the government.

In addition to the main deal, the government also revealed it had negotiated an agreement for Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to relocate its digital research programme, Data61 to Melbourne.

The National Broadband Network (NBN), most of Australia’s major banks and its largest telecommunications company, Telstra, also base their cyber-security operations in Melbourne.

At present, the cyber-security industry is growing at a rapid rate, contributing an estimated $51.5 billion to the global economy annually.

Governments and private enterprises have been under increased pressure to tighten up their cyber networks, with hackers looking to extract valuable intelligence.

Victoria’s Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Phillip Dalidakis who signed the agreement while Britain, hailed the partnership as a “huge vote of confidence for Victoria’s tech sector” and said it would “cement the state’s reputation as the leader in this industry.”

“Cyber security is crucial to safeguarding our fast growing digital economy… and the Andrews Labour government is working hard to keep Victoria at the forefront.”

Fairfax Media reported on Tuesday that the decision to base the security hub in Melbourne followed an undisclosed contribution to the institution from the Victorian government.

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