Global cyber-security skills shortage leaves Australia open to attack

The Commonwealth Bank warns that a global cyber-security skills shortage could pave the way for additional high-profile computer attacks in Australia.

The Commonwealth Bank warns that a global cyber-security skills shortage could pave the way for additional high-profile computer attacks in Australia.

As the cyber-threat to government and corporate computer systems grows, the bank called for a reorganisation in universities. They feel cyber-security courses should focus less on theory and more so on experience.

Luke Anderson, lecturer of computer security at the University of Sydney, said attacks were growing because computer security was not a primary thought.

“Today, in 2015, it's much harder than it was even five years ago to break into stuff, but it's still quite achievable because there's a lot of technologies that are hanging over from times past. By getting into the universities and really showing the students why stuff is getting broken into, how you can code better so that this doesn't happen, how to introduce these mitigating factors, we're going to be able to protect ourselves from the security issues of tomorrow,” Anderson noted.

David Whiteing, chief information officer at the Commonwealth Bank, said the only way to solve the problem was by getting better at attacks. Whiteing agrees that more trained people are needed before that can happen. “If you do the analysis globally, there is a cyber-skills shortage,” he warned.

Governments and large corporations are aware of the threat and doing everything in their power to try and stop their systems from being attacked. The Commonwealth Bank has been working with the Federal Government to make Australia an exporter of cyber-capability as it says that the demand for cyber-security skills will grow by close to 10,000 jobs over the next five years.