Amidst all the news about how vulnerable manufacturing has become to cyber-attacks, there is some good news: a global security network has just opened up shop in Australia.
The Global Security Intelligence Centre was established by NEC and is the newest hub of its worldwide network, which includes Japan, Brazil, Singapore, the United States and Austria.
NEC Director of Solutions and Sales Andy Hurt said the Adelaide centre would allow the company to offer around the clock services to its clients.
“This is a hub of an international services model where we have offices in five other countries servicing 24/7,” Hurt said from the new office in the centre of Adelaide.
Hurt said the AU$4.38 million cyber security centre had been built to operate within the high security certifications and standards required by government and enterprises for the management and support of their data and applications.
“Zones are built for various levels of security and the zones and operations undergo rigorous assessment to achieve certifications,” he said.
The centre employs 50 security staff recruited from around the world. NEC is also working with South Australia’s three universities to train new staff in the specialised skills.
South Australia’s Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton Smith said the new security centre was a good fit in a state heavily invested in defence infrastructure such as the AU$50 billion project to build Australia’s future submarines.
“Cyber security is important to our defence industry, and it’s also important to business,” Hamilton Smith said.
A 2016 Lloyd’s-Cambridge study found that cybercrime was the seventh biggest global economic threat and would cost Australia an estimated AU$16 billion over the next decade and US$294 billion globally.
Australia features prominently as a target for cyber-attacks due to its rapid adoption of technology and relative global wealth. As companies wise up to this potential threat, electronic and network security is becoming increasingly important in manufacturing.
NEC Australia also manages the central and local data networks of all South Australian government agencies.
The company was recently awarded a contract by the South Australian Police to develop facial recognition software and is working with the University of Adelaide to develop Smart City technology.
Investment and Trade Minister Hamilton Smith said the centre was an example of how a state, which has been reliant on more traditional industries such as automotive manufacturing, could transform itself into a service centre.
“South Australia’s total services exports were $2.6 billion in 2016, an increase of 11 per cent on the previous year and better than the national average of nine per cent,” Hamilton Smith said.
South Australia’s capital Adelaide has three long-standing public universities, Flinders University, University of South Australia and the University of Adelaide, each of which are consistently rated highly in the international higher education rankings.