Canberra-based firm FifthDomain has taken out the Innovation2023 Award for Excellence in Cybersecurity for its innovative efforts to address the skills gap in the sector.
The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence were presented on Wednesday night at a black-tie gala dinner at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney.
The Cybersecurity Award was presented on the night by Australian Computer Society Chief Growth Officer Siobhan Casey.
Fifth Domain founder and chief executive received the award and described it is as a “great recognition for all the hard work that the team has put in, over the years to build software…to do something a little bit different to solve societal problems”.
Cybersecurity has been in the spotlight across the last year, with a series of major data breaches impacting some of the country’s largest companies, including Medibank, Optus and Latitude Financial.
The attacks demonstrated the severe impact that cybersecurity incidents can have on individuals and the broader Australian economy, and have made cybersecurity a mainstream dinner table conversation issue.
The federal government is now in the final stages of developing the new 2023-2030 Cyber Security Strategy, which will bring together businesses, individuals and the public sector around six “cyber shields”.
This will bring significant opportunities for local cybersecurity firms, with a heightened awareness of how important resilience is in this space.
But there’s a significant skills gap that is facing the cyber sector, and without an influx of cyber professionals, Australia will be unlikely to defend itself from the growing threat.
FifthDomain took out the Cybersecurity award for its innovative platform aiming to help tackle the significant skills gap in the cyber sector. The company’s Assessor platform is a browser-based tool which can identify cyber talent that might be missed during a more traditional job search.
It provides a risk-free environment to test potential candidates with skills-based assessments that replicate realistic scenarios they might face in a cybersecurity-related job.
This can take out some of the bias in the hiring process and can also assist neurodiverse people who may struggle with more traditional hiring methods.
FifthDomain is tackling a major problem. The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network has found that Australia needs 17,000 more cyber workers by 2026 to address the current needs levels, and a recent increase in cyber graduates is not enough to meet this shortfall.
It’s also been estimated that Australia must increase its cyber workforce to 33,500 by 2024 in order to keep the general public safe from the growing threat of malicious actors online.
It’s also a major worldwide problem, with the global cyber skills gap estimated to be about 2.7 million people.
Mr Wilcox added that it is “extremely important” to train more people in cybersecurity skills in Australia. He described part of Fifth Domain’s objective is to provide “some real insight to ways to better generate a really good fit between the candidate and the job”.
“The adversarial army is only getting bigger so therefore the defending army needs to be commensurately just as big,” Mr Wilcox said.
“What we’re doing is we’re actually simulating cyber scenarios, and putting them in front of candidates or potential students of cyber, just to give them a taste of what cyber and what life would be like working within a security operations centre.”
FifthDomain has already assessed over 2600 people and implemented its platform for more than 14 Australian organisations across the public and private sector. It has received a $3 million grant from the Department of Industry, Science and Resources’ Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund for its Cyber National Assessment Program for Skills and Employment, and $3.4 million in venture capital funding.
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.
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