Cyber security epidemic should be at the forefront of school kid’s minds.

A new KPMG survey has found cyber security has overtaken the skills shortage as the number one business concern of senior Australian executives. ECU’s Dr Mohi Ahmed has called for schools to begin educating children even younger about the cyber security epidemic.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) Senior Lecturer and international cyber security expert Dr Mohi Ahmed has called on Australian schools to begin educating students even younger on the global cyber security epidemic.

Dr Ahmed’s plea comes off the back of a new KPMG survey, which has found the issue of cyber security has overtaken the skills shortage as the number one business concern of senior Australian executives.

“These survey results are no surprise to us in cyber security,” Dr Ahmed said.

“For more than two decades now, both the industry and government have been calling for upskilling to get people educated and trained in the cyber security profession.

“We need to tackle what is now a national and global epidemic.”

Accounting firm KPMG surveyed 319 senior executives and board members from private sector businesses about key challenges in the next 12 months and over the next five years.

43 per cent of those surveyed said cyber security was the key issue for 2024.

35 per cent listed it as the main concern over the next three to five years.

KPMG Australia chief executive Andrew Yates said high-profile cyber-attacks in the past 12 months reinforced the importance of cyber security and training.

“As global economies and supply chains were disrupted, organisations had to rethink their dependencies on goods, services and the digital infrastructure that underpins them,” he said.

“Cyber security is now the golden thread at the heart of every business.”

Educate now for the future.

According to the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, nearly 17,000 more cybersecurity workers are needed by 2026.

One of the leading firms, CyberCX, also investigated skill shortages in Australia. Their report found that the National Skills Commission (NSC) data indicates that an additional 30,000 cybersecurity-skilled professionals will be needed by 2026 to keep up with rapidly changing security needs.

“If we can begin pressing upon our young people the importance of cyber security, as young as grade one and two, we can get them interested in a potential career in the field later in life,” Dr Ahmed explained.

Australia’s leading cyber security program

ECU has Australia’s largest cyber security research and education program and is one of the leading groups in the world.

“One of our own academic staff is one of Interpol’s Cyber Crime Experts Group,” Dr Ahmed said.

ECU is also home to one of Australia’s largest Security Operations Centre (SOC), the first of its kind in an Australian university and one of only a handful worldwide.

In this world-class facility, cyber researchers investigate cyber crimes and develop robust countermeasures for more resilient critical infrastructures in collaboration with both private and public sectors.

Courses at ECU range from a Bachelor’s degree to a PhD in Cyber Security.

In addition, the accelerated online postgraduate cyber courses are designed to meet the demand for cyber professionals within government, law enforcement and industry.


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