ECU secures $3m cyber centre

29/01/2020 - 13:55

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

Edith Cowan University is aiming to capitalise on its existing cyber security expertise with the opening of a new $3 million security operations centre, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

ECU secures $3m cyber centre
Paul Haskell-Dowland in ECU’s new security operations centre. Photo: Jody D’Arcy

Edith Cowan University is aiming to capitalise on its existing cyber security expertise with the opening of a new $3 million security operations centre, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

The centre, which includes a training lab designed to familiarise students with digital security, adds to ECU’s credentials in the space, including its security research institute headed by Craig Valli, which is ranked among the top 10 cyber security research groups in the world, and personnel like associate dean of computing and security Paul Haskell-Dowland.

Vice-chancellor Steve Chapman told Business News the new centre was crucial to the university’s cyber security curriculum, with an SOC able to provide students the capacity to monitor, analyse and intervene in network operations.

He said it was important the university was able to meet student expectations as its cyber security courses continued to grow in popularity.

“What we’re doing with the [SOC] is improving the facilities the students have,” Dr Chapman said.

“We don’t want them just working on computers, we want them to be on the cutting edge of what is needed now in cyber security.

“I’ve visited SOCs in places like Emirates Airlines where they monitor the dark web and see people use fraudulent credit cards to buy tickets, [and then] intervening and alerting authorities.

“It will give students experience of what it’s going to be like when they get out there in big companies when they have to operate in a security operations centre.”

The university is respected nationwide for the high standard of its cyber security education, and the addition of an SOC will likely further enhance this reputation.

While Dr Chapman said ECU had credibility when it came to the topic, he conceded complacency was a risk and that the university needed to constantly update its approach to the issue.

“Things are changing so rapidly and we have to keep up with that change, which means continued investment, change and recognition of what’s happening,” Dr Chapman said.

“We always need to have better facilities than anyone else and we’re going to do the utmost to maintain that.”

Outside of the addition of the SOC, ECU has plans to add a new institute to complement work undertaken by the university’s security research institute, as well as a new $48 million science building set to open this month.

The practical need for these developments was made clear during the centre’s official opening last week, which coincided with the Department of Home Affairs’ Cyber 2020 forum.

Hosted by ECU alongside the department, the forum served as part of the federal government’s consultation process for its 2020 cyber security strategy.

Secretary of Home Affairs Michael Pezzullo, who delivered the forum’s keynote address, said the magnitude of digital threats had increased in recent years as economies and businesses had become increasingly connected.

“As the threat evolves, so too must our response,” Mr Pezzullo said.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options