Australia’s external spending on cybersecurity products and services grew by eight per cent to A$3.9 billion in 2018, compared to six per cent growth in 2017, according to a new AustCyber report. 

Global spending for cybersecurity will continue to soar over the next eight years by 88 per cent with it projected to hit US$270 billion in 2026. 

The report, Australia’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan said while Australia’s cybersecurity sector is still developing, there is emerging evidence the sector can capture a significant share of the growing global cybersecurity market. 

With the second-highest ‘cyber maturity’ in the Indo-Pacific region and strengths in core skill areas such as quantum computation, wireless technology and high-value niche hardware, Australia is the ideal growth environment for cybersecurity businesses, the report said.

Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber said, “The aim of the Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan is to provide the economic evidence base for the cybersecurity industry across business, research and consumer segments to drive growth in the ecosystem, increase exports of Australian solutions, and support Australia to become the leading global centre for cybersecurity education. 

“The 2019 update indicates strong growth against the data outlined in the first iteration, released in April 2017, reflecting the rapid evolution of this dynamic sector.”

Last year’s update provided a ‘deep dive’ on the skills and workforce gap – one of three key issues holding back the sector’s growth. 

Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber

This year’s deep dive explores the underlying structural challenges of having an inadequate measurement of the sector’s development and its impact and contribution to economic prosperity.

Price said, “A clear view of the maturity and size of Australia’s cybersecurity sector is essential for strategic growth. 

“Good policy and future investments are contingent upon policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors having a strong picture of the sector on which to make informed decisions.”

AustCyber said cybersecurity as a business activity, as well as an economic pursuit, cuts across all industries. It includes providers of cybersecurity capability who comprise the cybersecurity sector and organisations in other sectors that employ cybersecurity specialists. 

Cybersecurity products and services assist to protect and enable infrastructure, supply chains and value chains of the digital aspects of the global economy. However, the benefits of cybersecurity have not been studied to the extent necessary.

Price noted, “The measurement of fundamental economic metrics such as the size of the sector and its value added to the economy can serve as a foundation to more sophisticated analysis, such as the broader impacts of cyber innovation across the economy, including its role as an enabler of growth and its contribution to overall prosperity.”

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