Keeping unis safe from spying needs a national effort (that, and more money)

Australia’s on-line enemies are “increasingly sophisticated, well-resourced and constantly changing their tactics, the Council of Australasian University Directors of IT warns

In a submission to the parliamentary committee on intel inquiry into foreign interference in universities CAUDIT calls for a united national effort, “only through strength in unity, scale and efficiency do we have a chance to mature the Australian cybersecurity landscape to address the challenges.”

However, CAUDIT warns that while “a significant momentum shift” has occurred over the last two years, COVID-19 caused costs and revenue loss “present challenges in continuing to invest in cybersecurity.” The council recommends the government “incentive investment in cyber across the HE sector to underpin cybersecurity obligations.”

ANU advises from experience

While ANU addresses the danger of human actors, its submission also addresses how it deals with cyber-security risk – acknowledging it knows a bit about this, following the “data breaches” of 2018, (CMM June 5 2019).

In common with other university submissions, ANU recommends government “support and invest” in the University Foreign Interference Taskforce, “to maintain and evolve Australia’s higher education and research response to foreign interference.” And it warns that in combination, various security laws applying to universities, “may duplicate effort, unduly tie up resources and ultimately not deliver the desired outcome.”