Federal Government funding new Western Sydney Uni Cybersecurity Aid Centre

The Federal Government has announced $745,920 in new funding for Western Sydney University to establish the Cybersecurity Aid Centre to train and support small business with Cyber Incident Response.

Funded through the Cyber Security Business Connect and Protect Grants Program, the centre will be located in Parramatta and led by Western Sydney University in partnership with four leading New South Wales cybersecurity businesses: Secolve, Emergence, Gridware and DCEncompass.

The training centre will provide Cyber Incident Response support for small businesses experiencing data breach, ransomware or email business compromise, and will host training seminars throughout NSW.

The project will enhance cybersecurity resources through the development of a Cyber Suite and Toolkit for Small Businesses — a hotline for assistance with cybersecurity incidents, and will integrate applied support with learning and skills development for Western Sydney University students.



Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Marise Payne, commended Western Sydney University on its collaborative approach to supporting businesses to recognise cyber risks and opportunities.

“The Cybersecurity Aid Centre will enhance business’ security and cyber capabilities, which will help ensure western Sydney’s strong economic prosperity and development continues as we come back from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Payne said.

“This latest investment is part of the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020 and complements our $1.2 billion Digital Economy Strategy, which will be part of this year’s Federal Budget 2021-22.”

Project lead Professor Alana Maurushat, from the University’s School of Social Sciences and School of Computer, Data and Mathematical Sciences, said the centre would deliver new programs to upskill small and medium enterprises and students with the latest skills in the technology and psychology of cybercrime.

“Tackling cybercrime is a high priority. Businesses need a resource centre that will help them when a cybersecurity crisis arises, as well as help to build resilience and awareness around cybercrime and the kinds of behaviours, technologies and change management practices they need to adopt to protect themselves,” Professor Maurushat said.

“The Centre will enhance cybersecurity knowledge and capacity across western Sydney, and will provide a robust hub for industry and students to connect and learn from each other.”

Cyber security expert and Secolve CEO Laith Shahin said the initiative was an example of industry successfully partnering with the education sector to support local businesses.

“Using industry expertise to upskill students is one of the most effective methods of combatting the growing incidence of cybercrime, and to raise awareness among business of the resources available to assist them in mitigating and preventing cyberattacks,” Shahin said.

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