Optus Business will invest $3.5 million into the government's industry-led Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), which aims to accelerate development of Australia's cyber defences.
The investment will come over a seven-year period including $2.1 million in cash plus $1.4 million in-kind and staff. Optus will provide the centre with direct access to its own cybersecurity team, as well as its industry partners.
The federal government launched the centre in September with a $50 million investment, along with $89.8 million in contributions from 25 other industry partners.
At the time, the government didn't give much detail on what exactly the centre's research would focus on, other than comments from assistant minister for industry, innovation and science Craig Laundy saying: “The cybersecurity CRC will deliver solutions to increase the security of critical infrastructure and that benefits businesses and their customers.”
Optus shed some more light on the CRC's initial focus, which will be on critical infrastructure security and cyber security-as-a-service. Optus said it will also provide training and guidance to address Australia's cyber skills shortage as part of the investment.
“No matter who you are, or what you do, cybercrime is a persistent and growing threat," said Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis.
"By working together we can build an ecosystem to maintain a resilient, secure and trustworthy cyber capability in Australia, and Optus is proud to have a crucial role in this through our many partnerships and now through the Cyber Security CRC.”
CRC chairman David Irvine added: “This cooperative investment into the Cyber Security CRC is the largest of its kind, following the Australian government’s launch of the National Cyber Security Strategy. The Cyber Security CRC has to-date received commitments to the value of over $139 million, made up from a range of investing companies and bodies.”