Report launched by the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network

20th Apr 17

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network identifies key industry challenges in latest Report

The Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan was launched today by the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, The Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, one year after the Government launched its Cyber Security Strategy.

The report, published by the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, identifies the challenges Australian organisations face when competing in local and international cyber security markets – with access to funding being a key factor.

Cyber security is now one of the most rapidly expanding industries globally, as governments, the private sector and research community have begun to boost their spending and investment to curb malicious cyber activities. In 2016, total external spending on cyber security by Australians and Australian organisations reached A$3.46 billion.

This latest Report outlines the funding challenge faced by many cyber-security startups as one of the key areas to be addresses to ensure we create a flourishing cyber security industry here in Australia.

Funding data indicates it is more difficult for Australian cyber security startups than for their global peers to access early-stage venture capital for the commercialisation of innovative products.

Aside from the government assistance and incentives available, venture capital (VC) funds investing in early-stage startups are currently scarce in Australia.

The Report says: This low availability blocks the country's innovation pipeline because start-ups are locked out from the high-risk capital they urgently need to turn promising ideas into competitive, real-life technologies.

OECD data shows that, measured as a share of GDP, there is 10 times less early-stage venture capital available in Australia (0.01 per cent) than in the US (0.1 per cent) and almost 30 times less than in Israel (0.27 per cent). Both those countries are considered leaders in the global market for cyber security products.

Australian cyber security firms face larger obstacles than some of their global peers when trying to access early-stage venture and seed capital. It is crucial for Australia to remove these funding hurdles and help startups commercialise novel products and innovative services that will differentiate them from foreign rivals.

A more favourable funding environment, including the system of incubators and accelerators, and more support for research and commercialisation will enable Australian cyber security startups to become global market leaders.

AVCAL has been in discussion with ACSGN about the potential for the two organisations to collaborate more closely going forward. Some of the ideas being explored include joint events for cyber entrepreneurs and fund managers to come together and build deeper connections.

To read the full Plan, go to: scp.acsgn.com