Cyber security is one of Australia’s most promising growth sectors. Global spending on cyber security products and services increased by 30 per cent from 2017 to 2020. This year alone, Australians spent approximately A$5.6 billion on cyber security from both local and international providers, a figure that is expected to increase to A$7.6 billion by 2024.
Over the next decade, the Australian cyber security sector will become larger, more diverse and more sophisticated. Providers will continue to refine their market offerings to meet their customers’ varying cyber security needs and continue to support our changing economy. There will be new opportunities fuelling further growth as the application of technologies at the points of convergence between, and within, sectors create more complexity and pressure on systems and networks.
There are now over 500 providers in the domestic sector, supported by 26,500 workers employed in full time cyber security roles. At least 350 providers in the sector are considered sovereign. A closer look at the sector reveals it is characterised by new, innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with 88 per cent of providers having fewer that 100 employees.
By 2026, it is expected that:
in additional revenue will be generated by the Australian sector
additional jobs added to Australia’s economy, totalling 33,500 in the workforce
spent on cyber security in Australia from local and international providers
Australia is an attractive destination for cyber investment. The robust regulatory environment and A$1 trillion contribution of digital activity in gross economic output places Australia as a strong choice for investment.
most committed cyber security country
highest level of cyber maturity in the Indo-Pacific
in the world for policies that support cyber security and allow government data to be openly
Australia has proven expertise in developing and commercialising innovative software and hardware solutions that protect confidential data and transactions throughout the global economy. We are also strong in the development and delivery of cyber security services. Australian deep technology cyber solutions are achieving global success in competitive markets such as the US, the UK and Indo-Pacific, with an increasing number of investments into Australian cyber security startups and companies.
Australia’s world class education and training facilities are the perfect foundation to prepare our people for the ‘future of work’. This includes embedding cyber security skills.
Australia’s tertiary education system plays a pivotal role in enabling the continued growth of the cyber security sector. Due to its rapid expansion, the sector has historically faced a talent shortage. However, Australian TAFEs and universities are mobilising to address this skills gap, with half of all Australian universities now offering cyber security as a specific degree or a major in information technology (IT) or computer science qualifications.
Although the rising number of cyber-specific programs is promising, it is vital that student interest in cyber security meets this growing supply. As such, securing the talent pipeline needs to begin in primary and secondary schools. Schools have an important role to play in educating our young people in cyber security skills, and exposing them to the possibility of an exciting career in cyber security.
Ongoing domestic cyber industry growth through education, research and development (R&D) and investment is paramount for ensuring Australia’s long-term sovereign cyber capabilities. Australia’s leading R&D institutions including CSIRO and Data61 have an increased focus on cyber and emerging technologies including quantum computing, space and artificial intelligence (AI).