It's taken a few years but the IT industry has finally figured out that the best way to combat cybercrime is to work cooperatively with other people. Threat actors cooperate through dark web marketplaces and forums where tools and skills are traded as commodities. This is one of the key reasons they are able to cause such havoc. Optus is committing $3.5M to the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre.
Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) are a government intuitive administered by AusIndustry, a division within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
Optus' commitment is slated to run for seven years and will bring their experts to the CRC to accelerate research and to help develop skills in an industry sector that is offering an acute skills shortage.
David Irvine, Chairman, Cyber Security Research Centre said, “This cooperative investment into the Cyber Security CRC is the largest of its kind, following the Australian Government’s launch of the National Cyber Security Strategy. The Cyber Security CRC has to-date received commitments to the value of over $139 million, made up from a range of investing companies and bodies".
That $3.5M commitment isn't all cash. $2.1M will be a cash contribution delivered over seven years with the remainder coming from "in-kind and staff (people)" contributions.
This isn't Optus' first investment in cyber security. Over the last year and a half, they have invested another $28M in various initiatives with La Trobe University, the Advanced Security Operations Centre and Macquarie Univeristy.