Cyber security capabilities

Canberra’s innovative, knowledge driven economy coupled with cutting edge infrastructure, high technology companies and national security organisations positions Canberra as Australia’s Cyber Security Capital. Canberra’s cyber security industry provides information and data security products and services to the Federal Government, Australia’s national security agencies including the Department of Defence, the Australian Signals Directorate, the Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Cyber Security Centre and prime contractors. Canberra is well positioned to take full advantage of the National Cyber Security Strategy released in April 2016 which included $230 million in new spending to bolster Australia’s cyber defence capability and the commitments to cyber security outlines in the Defence White Paper. Canberra has positioned itself as the national security node of the Cyber Security Industry Growth Network.

Key location factors

Largest concentration of security agencies, organisations and assets

Canberra has Australia’s highest concentration of national security agencies, assets, prime contractors, and small-medium enterprises delivering cyber security capabilities to the public and private sectors. Significant cyber security facilities have been established in Canberra by Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and IBM. ANU spin out company QuintessenceLabs ( headquartered here is a leading quantum cryptography company that was recently named by SINET as one of the 16 emerging cyber security companies in the world.

Highly skilled, suitably security cleared workforce

Not only does Canberra have the highest educated workforce in Australia, it is also home to the highest level of workers with security clearances. The security clearance requirement for many contractors and employees working in the public sector, particularly in Defence and intelligence agencies, ensures that organisations based in Canberra have access to a pool of talent that is suitably cleared to access classified information and resources. In addition, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) is investing $12 million into a collaborative facility at the ANU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science to ensure that cyber graduates have the skills necessary to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Proximity to top-ranked universities and research institutions

Canberra hosts three of Australia’s leading universities- ANU, UNSW Canberra and University of Canberra, and world-class research institutions including: the National Computational Infrastructure, the Southern Hemisphere’s most integrated super computer and computational facility, which supports the most advanced data analysis, modelling and computational capability; the National Security College at ANU- a national centre of excellence for executive and professional development, research and teaching in security; the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at UNSW Canberra, the University of Canberra’s National Security Institute and Australia’s national data and ICT research agency - Data61 and CSIRO - which have been given key roles by the Australian Government in implementing its national cyber security strategy.

Business organisations and resources designed to encourage industry growth

The Canberra region’s cyber businesses and researchers have a strong collaborative working relationship with an objective to grow the region’s cyber industry. Canberra delivers a unique and connected network of higher education and research institutions, businesses and government agencies through the CBR Innovation Network. In addition, the ACT Government and key industry players including ANU, UNSW Canberra, Data61, UC and CIT have established the Canberra Cyber Network (CCN). The CCN was established in response to the Commonwealth Government’s emphasis on cyber security, as demonstrated by the DWP, the National Cyber Security Strategy and the establishment of the Cyber Security Industry Network.  The CCN is a node of the national Cyber Security Industry Network and provides an opportunity to collaboratively grow the cyber security sector in Canberra including collaboration with other parties in joint projects.

Click here to view Canberra’s Cyber Security Capability Directory

Canberra Cyber Hub

Work is underway to establish a ‘Canberra Cyber Hub’ that will capitalise on one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia, and position Canberra as the cyber capital of Australia.

Dr Michael Frater, former Rector of UNSW Canberra, will lead the establishment of the Canberra Cyber Hub project, which will concentrate on four key objectives:

In October 2020, the ACT Government engaged Nous Group to begin to develop a Canberra cyber security hub concept. Read the report here.

Find out more about Canberra’s cyber capabilities