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The Australian National University

Cyber game to prepare Australia for future challenges

Michelle PriceMore than 90 influential stakeholders across government, business and academia took part in Australia’s first cyber security game to help prepare the country for the online challenges of the future and reduce the A$17 billion lost to cybercrime each year.

The 360° Cyber Game will be hosted by The Australian National University (ANU) National Security College in partnership with RAND Corporation on Thursday 8 December.

Participants including Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan and Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security Gai Brodtmann will be put through two strategic scenarios based on an anticipated online environment of the year 2022.

Project co-ordinator Michelle Price of the ANU National Security College said there are significant risks for Australia if its leaders didn’t prepare for the realities of a rapidly changing online world.

“Australia is losing up to $17 billion off our bottom line each year through malicious cyber activity,” Ms Price said. “It largely goes off-shore after being stolen by cyber criminals.

“We also have to take into account the loss of productivity. Any time a malicious compromise happens, people’s efforts have to be redirected. There can also be cash costs involved in remediating malicious incidents, the value depending on how severe the incident is.

“There are also risks to national security and our national interests.

“We need knowledge and understanding at a management level to be able to make the right cyber security investment decisions, and to know what to do when you are compromised. The point is, it’s not if, it’s when.”

Ms Price said the 2016 Census was one example of what can happen when an organisation is underprepared for malicious cyber activity.

“We know with incidents like the Census there will be millions of dollars spent on recovering – not only on the IT infrastructure but also on rebuilding reputation and trust,” she said.

“There are literally hundreds of thousands of these incidents happening every year.”

Professor Rory Medcalf, Head of the National Security College, flagged that the ANU and Rand Corporation will publish a report outlining recommended actions for Australia to be best prepared for future cyber security policy challenges, following the game.

“The game will take account of the relationship between policy, operations, regulation and the unexpected,” Professor Medcalf said. “We are very excited by the influential mix of participants taking part and eager to see the lessons that will emerge.”

Other participants in the 360° Cyber Game include a mix of cyber experts and policymakers from organisations such as:

  • federal and state government agencies
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Australian Securities Exchange
  • CBR Innovation Network
  • Cisco
  • Google
  • KPMG
  • Omni Executive
  • Stone and Chalk
  • Woodside

The National Security College would like acknowledge and thank our sponsors for this event:

Macquarie logo







Omni Executive logo








The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Governmment and ANU.