Australia may never be able to create an IT industry like that in the US, but it can lead in cyber security

Australia has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop a strong and internationally competitive cyber security sector.Speaking at the inaugural SINET61 Summit in Sydney – which brought together industry, academics, policy makers and corporate users – Alastair MacGibbon, special advisor to the prime minister on cyber security, acknowledged that Australia can’t create a Silicon Valley, so should instead focus on creating “boomerang businesses” which go offshore to build scale and experience, but with solid local foundations to ensure that they return.To that end Data61, which is the combination of the National ICT Australia body and the ICT arm of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), is spearheading the Cyber Security Industry Growth Centre. Funded to the tune of AUD30m through to 2019-20, the Cyber Growth Centre is intended to bring together researchers, the government and industry to build businesses able to tap into the international cyber security market, which it estimates is worth $71bn a year and growing 8% annually.