Australian Cybersecurity Leader Highlights Importance of Public-Private Partnerships

Today, Michelle Price shared inspiring remarks about her experience and vision for cybersecurity at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Price is currently a Senior Adviser for Cyber Security at the Australian National University’s National Security College.  She is on secondment from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. You can follow Michelle Price on Twitter @Mich1175.  Here are some highlights from remarks earlier today.


Michelle Price at IU Maurer School of Law, November 10, 2016

In 2010, the Australian government created the National Security College at the Australian National University (ANU). Price helped design the College’s mission. One fundamental purpose of creating the National Security College was to educate the Australian government on cybersecurity issues. Price cited at least two reasons for Australia’s growing need for cybersecurity leaders. First, Australia’s economy is transitioning from (or least adding to) its “resource economy to a knowledge economy.” Second, Australia is the second highest target of ransomware. The United States is the first highest target.  Thus, Australia and the United States share a mutual interest in combating ransomware, among other online threats. Fortunately, there is collaboration between these two nations in improving cybersecurity.

For approximately five years, Indiana University (thanks in large part to Fred Cate) and the ANU have been developing a strong collaborative relationship in addressing cybersecurity issues. This international partnership between the two universities is essential for addressing cybersecurity because the online world remains virtually borderless. (pun intended?)

But, Price emphasized that partnerships in cybersecurity must extend beyond educational institutions.  The partnerships required to establish security in cyberspace must include governments, businesses, and academic institutions because all three depend on a safe and secure online world. For Price, public-private partnerships is more than just a central tenet of ensuring cybersecurity, it is “genuine strategy.” A strategy sets the tone and direction, whereas a plan is how to implement that strategy. Businesses, academics, and governments all have a stake in cybesecurity and thus, all need to work together in developing the strategy to achieve it. (If interested, here is Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy report.)

While Price believes that everyone needs to play a leadership role in the broad field of cybersecurity, she described the role of education in this field as “imperative.”  Education needs to occur at every level, from “three-year olds to 103-year olds. ”  One reason that education in this field is important is because cyberspace is an exceptional geopolitical domain. “The pace, scale, and reach” of cyberspace is unlike any other geopolitical domain that has come before.

Price closed her remarks noting that going forward, every single job will be affected by cyberspace and this requires individuals to at least understand coding.  Not only is an understanding of coding necessary to establish sufficient cyber defenses, it is also the future of economic opportunities.  Thus,  the need for public-private partnerships is essential for a successful market economy and stable polity because businesses and governments depend on a secure cyberspace. Through the “imperative” of education and a “genuine strategy” developed through collaborative partnerships, we will continue to improve the security of our quickly developing and all-encompassing online world.

For those interested in pursuing an education in cybersecurity, Indiana University’s Master’s Program in Cybersecurity Risk Management, begins in Fall 2017.




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