The federal government has poached Atlassian’s head of security Craig Davies to lead its new Cyber Security Growth Centre (CSGC).
Davies, who has spent more than a decade in high-growth tech ventures, is also the former chief of security at Cochlear where he forged a career in a global security and network programming.
His poach comes just a day after Blackbird Ventures’ co-founder Bill Bartee was recruited to lead the government’s new $200 million national innovation venture fund.
The CSGC is part of the federal government’s $230 million Cyber Security Strategy, which is aimed at developing Australia’s capabilities in this field.
“It will bring together industry, researchers and governments to create a national enterprise that will provide the foundation for the development of next generation products and services needed to live and work securely in our increasingly connected world,” Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science Greg Hunt said in a statement.
The CSGC will start operating from early 2017 and the federal government has allocated $31.9 million to fund its growth over the next four years.
The minister assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan says cyber security is a priority because it costs the Australian economy a “conservative $1 billion” a year.
“The global cyber security market was worth $US74.5 billion [$99 billion] in 2015, and it’s estimated it will be worth close to US$US170 billion [$228 billion] by 2020,” Tehan said in a statement.
“Our commitment to improving cyber security will create opportunities for Australian businesses to grow their operations and reach new markets with their innovations.”
But the government’s spotlight on cyber security as part of its broader $1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda has raised some questions over what exactly the government is aiming to build through these efforts.
ICT expert David Glance has questioned if these new capabilities would increase government powers in areas like censorship and surveillance at the cost of citizen privacy.
“Our reliance on technology is now a given and cyber security is as important a consideration as protecting our health, food and water sources and general environment,” Glance said.
“From that perspective, the cyber security strategy is a welcome but very small step in the right direction.”