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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Addressing Australia’s cyber security worker shortage

By Caroline Ng, University of New South Wales, IMF and World Bank Annual Summit, 2022

Caroline is studying a Bachelor of Information Systems (Honours) at UNSW. Her policy paper focuses on Addressing Australia’s cyber security worker shortage.

Executive Summary

The cyber security sector is a critical enabler of Australia’s digital revolution as cyber crime and a loss of trust by citizens could impede Australia’s digitalisation. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a significant increase in cyber crime and large-scale data breaches including the Optus and Medi Bank data breaches (Mason, 2022). However, Australia faces a shortage of job-ready cyber security workers, which led to an estimated loss of $405 million in revenue and wages due to unfilled cyber security job vacancies in 2017 (AustCyber, 2019). The cyber security skills shortage is forecast to hit 30,000 unfilled positions across Australia over the next four years (Braue, 2022). Failure to address this shortage may result in lower revenue growth in the Australian economy. For example, a lack of cyber security workers may result in companies being more susceptible to security breaches, which would negatively impact consumer and business confidence (AustCyber, 2019). Therefore, this paper proposes three key policy recommendations to address Australia’s cyber security worker shortage.

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