AustCyber-Stone & Chalk merger: Goal is Australian cybersecurity done right

Australia must play “long game” around security in an increasingly connected world buffeted by Great Power rivalries, which the combined entity will be more able to do, its leaders say.

Australia must play “a long game” in building a national security strategy to “address the tensions between security, prosperity, and cohesion in a multicultural society,” an Australian National University (ANU) academic advised during a National Press Club speech with AustCyber CEO Michelle Price, just weeks before Price’s cybersecurity industry development body surprised the market with a significant combination of interests, merging AustCyber into private-sector small-business technology network Stone & Chalk this week.

At that event, the year 2020’s “vicissitudes have prompted an acceleration of middle players … seeking new ways to collaborate and respond to a challenge that is becoming global,” said Rory Medcalf, head of the ANU National Security College.

He also said:

Connectivity, cyberspace, and Great Power rivalries are collapsing the boundaries between security and economics, the domestic and the international, and even people and technology.

Therefore, the vital terrain for national and international security is now what happens at home. … If we are playing a long game, and I believe we must, we need a vision for a confident, resilient, inclusive Australia that explains how it all fits together—and this requires a truly inclusive national conversation.

Medcalf’s call for a nationally cohesive security strategy was echoed by AustCyber’s Price, who reported having “great hope” in building that cohesion moving forward. “Because of the pandemic,” she said, “we are having conversations now about the three elements of national interest—national security, economic prosperity, and social impact—and to see them for what they are. They are the engines for the identity of this nation.”

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