CSU leads regional response to strengthen cyber security

As the largest provider in Australia of postgraduate degrees in information technology (IT), Charles Sturt University (CSU) brings strength and its regional position to its role as a strategic partner of the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

CSU is the only regional university in the recently announced $140 million Cyber Security CRC.

The Cyber Security CRC consists of 23 participants including leading companies such as Optus, Cisco, Datacom, and CERT Australia who are industry leaders of the CRC’s research programs, and crucial government agencies such as the Attorney General’s department and the Australian Federal Police. State governments are also members of this industry-led consortia, as well as other leading universities.

CSU Professor of Marketing Steven D’Alessandro (pictured) said, “With cyber security a ‘hot topic’ in Australia and internationally, Charles Sturt University brings to the CRC its research experience across both the technical and socio-political dimensions of cyber security.

“The University has a unique position in the CRC as a regional University that provides outreach on rural and regional issues.

“Charles Sturt University is one of the few universities in the CRC with expertise across all aspects of cyber security, and our regional presence means we can also help promote awareness and understanding of these issues.

“Furthermore, our cyber security-related teaching programs reflect our research strengths.

“Charles Sturt University is the largest provider of postgraduate degrees in IT in Australia, with a strong focus in cyber security through its School of Computing and Mathematics and our courses reflect the research expertise in this area. For example, the Master of Information Systems Security offers strong integration between academic and workplace components, via industry certification linkages and the use of industry professionals as lecturers/tutors.

“Moreover, the Doctor of Information Technology which is a practice-based professional doctorate engages industry professionals as supervisors and many students in this program are investigating complex cyber security problems.”

Professor D’Alessandro said CSU runs an annual Cyber Security Symposium (CSS) which is attended by participants from other universities, industry professionals, and government agencies.

“On the national security front of cyber security, the University offers programs in intelligence analysis and a Masters of Terrorism and Security Studies through its Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security,” Professor Alessandro said.

“Our newly-launched programs in this area, the Master of Cyber Security and Master of Cyber Studies and Investigations, have been well received with a large number of student enrolments in 2018. These new programs in cyber security have also received great public interest with around

40 000 people enrolling in related MOOCs with our partner IT Masters in 2017.”

Professor D’Alessandro said industry is increasingly cyber-connected and reliant on a secure cyber experience.

“Australia must be recognised as a secure and trusted place to do business,” he said. “This will benefit the economy by enabling industry to attract and increase investment, trade and commerce.

“The Cyber Security CRC will deliver solutions that increase the security of critical infrastructure and provide cyber security solutions that benefit businesses and their customers.”

Professor D’Alessandro said that being a part of this CRC is a significant element of CSU’s wider research strategy.

“In undertaking to address the complexity of cyber security, Charles Sturt University takes a multidisciplinary perspective,” Professor D’Alessandro said.

“This requires an understanding of the technical and ethical issues, policy, law enforcement and human factors that are all important in this area for the purposes of education and research.” 


The CRC has received $50 million in funding from the Commonwealth over a 7-year period. There are 23 partners to the CRC, including six universities. They bring contributions of an additional nearly $90 million in funding and in-kind resources to the CRC.

CSU is one of six university partners in the Cyber Security CRC; CSU, Deakin University, Edith Cowan University, Queensland University of Technology, University of Adelaide, University of NSW.

CSU is leading the following two themes:

Privacy preserving data sharing in a hyper-connected world will be co-led by Professor Steven D’Alessandro (CSU), an expert in consumer behaviour and privacy in online communication. Professor D’Alessandro has a record of working with industry including ANZ, BHP, Ford, and Telstra, and has received industry awards for consumer insight. This theme will leverage the team’s existing collaborations, expert multidisciplinary knowledge, and demonstrated record of developing theoretical foundations for solving privacy problems in the context of big data and privacy preserving data sharing frameworks.

Real-time monitoring of cyber threats will be co-led by Associate Professor Patrick Walsh (CSU), a widely published intelligence expert and former intelligence analyst who consults for the Australian Federal Police and state police services. Patrick brings strong links to national and international intelligence practitioner professional bodies, and will leverage his experience in the establishment of shared intelligence and making sense of complex information for actionable intelligence outcomes. This theme will leverage large real-time datasets from government and industry partners (AUSTRAC, Cisco, and Optus) to develop outputs that confer a strong competitive advantage over current offerings that do not meet industry requirements.

Read more at: http://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/it-and-computing/csu-leads-regional-response-to-strengthen-cyber-security?tEdvgVPl30ZhBV1x.99