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Cyber security program for schools to bolster future industry workforce

Education

Cyber security topics will be taught in high schools to further cement South Australia’s growing expertise in the industry.

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The “Schools Cyber Security Challenges” is a suite of online modules designed to teach students from Years 7 to 12 essential digital security skills and awareness.

The $1.35 million program was created by the Australian Computing Academy in partnership with AustCyber, BT Global and Australia’s four major banks.

AustCyber Program Director Owen Pierce said the project’s partners made sure the challenges address skills that are actually needed and are relevant to the threats seen across the ecosystem.

“Obviously, you can’t grow an industry without a skilled workforce and that’s why we get involved in initiatives like this, making sure we have that strong pipeline of talent coming out of schools into vocational education, training and universities and ultimately into jobs in our industry,” Pierce said.

The Schools Cyber Security Challenges program has four digital modules that cover cyber security awareness, cryptography, network security and web app security.

Saint Peters Girls School in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs was among the first schools in Australia to implement the program.

South Australia’s main tertiary education institutions, The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and The University of South Australia, offer undergraduate and post graduates degrees in cyber security. TAFE SA is also running a Certificate 4 qualification in cyber security and an Advanced Diploma in network security.

In June, Flinders University launched the Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security and Governance in partnership with experts in the US. The centre is dedicated to research on issues such as foreign interference in democratic elections, the proliferation of fake news and national security.

Last month the South Australian government established the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre at Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen Innovation neighbourhood.

The $8.9million centre will support startups, scale-ups and existing businesses to launch new products and services into global markets.

Australian Computing Academy Academic Director James Curran said South Australia’s proactive approach to cyber security R&D as well as its ecosystem of advanced defence and space industries makes the state an attractive destination for careers in the field.

“There are a lot of industry partners in South Australia that recognise that collaboration is the right answer,” Curran said.

“You can have partners who might otherwise compete in every other aspect of their business like the big four banks, who still collaborate extremely closely when it comes to cyber security.

“So, getting that sharing and the fact that the new centre that’s opening is a collaboration centre really hits the nail on the head for what we need in terms of the industry both here in South Australia [and] right across Australia.

“South Australia will always have a huge demand for cyber security professionals across all of the kind of roles from very technical roles, people orientated to policy orientated roles.”

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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