Cybermerc: From govt to sovereign threat-sharing

Stuart Mason

Cybersecurity has become a dinner table discussion point in Australia in the last year. The high-profile and devastating data breaches that have impacted some of the country’s largest companies has exposed cybersecurity as a critical public issue, and accelerated efforts to shore up the protection of data.

Data breaches impacting Optus, Medibank and Latitude Financial, among several others, saw the personal information, including passport numbers and drivers licences, leaked onto the dark web.

There has been a growing realisation that Australian companies of all shapes and sizes and public sector organisations need to work together to share information on cyber threats and efforts to counter the sophistication of malicious actors online.

And Canberra-based Cybermerc has delivered the platform to do this with its AUSHIELD Defend service.

AUSHIELD Defend is a national threat-sharing platform for industry and government, allowing all players to proactively collaborate, and to defend each other from potentially devastating cyber attacks.

It was founded in 2016 by two brothers who left their government roles to focus on the sovereign cybersecurity capability, and subsequently landed government funding through the AustCyber Project Fund and the Cyber Skills Partnership Innovation Fund.

With more than a hundred open and closed source threat feeds, AUSHIELD Defend has built a community around it focused solely on making Australia and Australians more cyber secure.

Cybermerc’s AUSHIELD Defend is a finalist in the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence and a great example of an Australian company solving a national and global challenge. The awards will be decided at a black-tie gala at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney on November 1. You can secure your tickets here.

The platform is now the main cyber threat intelligence sharing capability across the federal government, and Cybermerc is now looking to expand it across APAC and then to other Five Eyes countries.

The platform is maintained solely in Australia and all data is kept locally.

When a new attacker online targets a local network, the targeted company can upload information on this to AUSHIELD Defend, and this can then be investigated and analysed by a team of experts with the aid of machine learning. This intelligence is then shared with the wider community and used to update Australia’s network defences from that new attack.

Cybermerc has won a large number of tenders for a threat intelligence platform in Australia, often beating out large multinational firms with its homegrown capability.

It has collaborated with La Trobe University, Macquarie University, the University of New South Wales and ADFA on the information-sharing platform.

The company was also recently awarded a grant to run Purple Team Australia, which will see it train 320 women and First Nations Australians in cybersecurity. Cybermarc already has 1000 students in the pipeline ready for graduation into government and industry placements, helping to address the huge skills gap in cybersecurity.

The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence are proudly supported by Investment NSW, AusIndustry, Australian Computer Society, Technology Council of Australia, Agile Digital, CSIRO, TechnologyOne, IP Australia, METS Ignited and Q-CTRL.

Protecting your great ideas with intellectual property (IP) rights can lead to lasting benefits for your growing business. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as a brand, logo, invention, design or artistic work. Head to the IP Australia website to find out more about IP, and how it might help your business.

Reserve your place at the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence black-tie dinner by clicking here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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