Jaclyn McRae 02 February 2017 16:49:27 AEDT 2 MIN READ

Eight astute messages from Data61’s new fintech + cybersecurity report

 Australian banks are beating US counterparts when it comes to adopting new digital technology including cybersecurity – but there’s still progress to be made, according to a new report.

Australia's Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security, Alastair MacGibbon, released the report yesterday.

It focuses how the cybersecurity and fintech industries can collaborate to boost the Australian economy, and clear the path for new startups to be created.

The report is a result of the inaugural National Fintech Cyber Security Summit in Sydney last year.

Here are eight of the most thought-provoking messages in MacGibbon’s report, titled Startup secrets: How Australia can create new businesses with fintech and cybersecurity industry collaboration.

Aussie innovators suffer a home-ground disadvantage

“We’re a nation of innovators, but too often our bright ideas are captured and commercialised by larger companies based overseas,” MacGibbon notes.

It’s not just about the money

“For many startups working to get a product or service off the ground, corporates can offer immediate help by bringing them on board as a supplier – it is a misconception startups are only interested in funding. Startups are also a good way for corporates to access innovative approaches to the cybersecurity threat landscape.”

The benefits flow two ways

“There are many benefits corporates stand to gain by engaging with tech startups – from cost savings to better internal innovation program outcomes.”

Corporates can lean on startups to solve complex problems

“Startups can help corporates rethink approaches to complex problems and access entrepreneurial talent that exists outside their organisation and bureaucracy.”

Cybersecurity shouldn’t be developed in silos

“While there may be pockets of strong cyber capabilities within the private and public sectors, the best way for Australia to catch up and lead regionally is to collaborate on value creation.”

We won’t conquer cyber threats without a joint effort

“It is important Australia rises to the challenge and opportunity that cybersecurity presents. If we want to enjoy navigating a free and open internet, we need to contribute to preventive health rather than treatment after the fact. Whether we’re a business, a government agency, a university or an individual we all need to ask ourselves, are we doing enough?” – Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.

Directors don’t comprehend the scale of the cybersecurity challenge

“As a country we underestimate the depth and breadth of the cyber security issue, and we underestimate the opportunity to build a new industry. When I speak with directors of ASX-listed companies the general feedback is we understand there is an issue, but we are not properly across it.” – Adrian Turner, CEO of Data61

Australia’s banks are more progressive than those in the US

“Australia’s financial services industry is well ahead of the US when it comes to adopting digital technologies and we can look at that for identifying cybersecurity problems and taking solutions to the US market.” – Richard Stiennon, Chief Research Analyst, IT-Harvest.

‘Startup secrets: How Australia can create new businesses with fintech and cybersecurity industry collaboration’ was produced by CSIRO’s Data61, Stone & Chalk, KMPG and the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce.

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