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Lead: NSW eyes blockchain, AI to tackle cybersecurity challenges


The uptake of blockchain or similarly innovative technology to facilitate secure information sharing between New South Wales Government agencies hinges on the success of new experiments to be run by Data61 scientists.

The NSW Government announced a three-year $11.4 million agreement with Data61 today that will put the state government in close contact with Australia’s top data scientists.

To kick off the partnership the federal data agency will trial the feasibility of using various cutting-edge technologies, including both artificial intelligence and blockchain, as tools to strengthen the NSW government’s cybersecurity network.

Successful trials could prompt the NSW Government to scale these capabilities to serve agencies on a Whole-of-Government level, potentially leading to opportunities for vendors operating at the forefront of the cybersecurity space. 

Bigger picture

The deal with Data61 follows efforts to shore up the NSW Government’s cybersecurity network by appointing Dr Maria Milosavljevic as the first Whole-of-Government Chief Information Security Officer, and enshrining cybersecurity as one of three priority areas in the May-released digital.nsw strategy.

As well as contributing to the government’s pursuit of improved cybersecurity capabilities, the partnership also supports the state’s complementary ambition; to continue growing the local cybersecurity industry.  

“The global market for cyber protection is forecast to be worth $170 billion by 2020, and this investment will go a long way to ensuring NSW is a world leader in cybersecurity which will produce many job opportunities,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair.

Opportunity specifics

Data61’s first experiments in affiliation with the NSW Government will involve using different artificial intelligence models to identify existing and emerging cybersecurity threats.

Also in the initial crop of test subjects will be blockchain and other technologies that can be used to share cybersecurity information across agencies. 

Secure information sharing between government agencies was one potential use case of blockchain identified in Data61’s recently released report on distributed ledger technology.

Category: IT Services, Software

Source: NSW Government press statement

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