At CSIRO’s Data61, we have defined three core challenges facing organisations around cyber security: 

  • Building trustworthy and resilient systems
  • Understanding risk and keeping teams aware of these
  • Strengthening the human and social dimension of cyber security

As a data-driven research and development network and partner we conduct applied research, offer trusted advice; and build breakthrough technologies, platforms and products.

We build technology that is mathematically proven to achieve trustworthiness to the highest degree. Our seL4 microkernel hardware is an example of cyber security technology developed by our Trustworthy Systems Group. 

We provide risk modelling and risk management guidance to government and private enterprise partners to help them understand where risks and vulnerabilities are coming from and how to mitigate them. 

We conduct deep research and stakeholder analysis to understand human behaviours which lead to vulnerabilities and provide recommendations on how to strengthen employee and stakeholder cyber security management. The vast majority of cyber security compromises arise from human behaviour – a domain in which technical solutions have limited efficacy. 

Finally, by operating as a network bringing together academia, government and industry we catalyse partnerships that boost the expansion of Australia’s competitive cyber security industry. 

Explore our work in cyber security

Building Trustworthy systems and the Internet of Things 

As systems grow increasingly interconnected, vulnerabilities multiply, and systems that are trustworthy and resilient become increasingly important. Balancing these increased security concerns with usability is a priority, and as such, Data61 has, along the Defence Science and Technology Group, developed the Cross-Domain Desktop Compositor (CDDC) product, designed to allow secure access to several discrete domains for a single user, on a single computer. The CDDC uses the seL4 secure microkernel, also developed by Data61, which has also been demonstrated in a Boeing unmanned helicopter, a small unmanned aerial vehicle and an enhanced soldier vision helmet. 

Three computers with different privilege levels attached to the CDDC, which securely composites them into a single desktop.

Learn more about Trustworthy and Resilient Systems

Security and privacy protections are needed to increase the confidence on the wide deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Resource constrained IoT devices have limited computational power and battery lifetime. Such devices are desired to use affordable security solutions to guarantee data security as well as providing a long service period.

We’ve developed a secure and modular IoT platform that manages cyber-physical systems – software connected to physical machines – protected using ‘Datagram Transport Layer Security’ (DTLS). 

Learn more about IoT Security, here and here

Governance, Risk and a New Network for Growth

Companies need to be equipped to assess risk and implement suitable governance in an environment that not only features change, but accelerating and decelerating rates of change. CSIRO’s Data61 is involved with catalysing efforts to allow companies to pre-empt and understand risk in rapidly changing digital environment. In conjunction with our DSTG partner, we have commenced efforts to model cyber security risk for the Ports industry. In partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), we are lifting the digital and cyber literacy of directors and boards, including upcoming courses on cybersecurity and webinars attracting large audiences.

Together with our DST Group partner we have commenced early exploration of cyber security risk modelling for the Ports Industry – looking at the convergence of the cyber physical and logical cyber threats impacting this industry and national security. Two reports on blockchain examine the risks to be considered through spread of this technology in Australia. 

Learn more about risk assessment and governance

Automating Cybersecurity

Numerous computers and servers housed in server racks.

Cybersecurity threats operate on a timescale that are unsuitable for full human involvement – many aspects of defending systems must be automated such that they can, to some degree, operate independently of human involvement. Data61 has partnered with DSTG, Deakin University, the University of Melbourne and ANU to investigate automated penetration testing using AI planning, autonomous cyber defence system using a distributed constraint solver and an adversarial machine learning approach to support automating defence to avoid counter-attacks that exploit learning algorithms. Cloud-based systems developed by Data61 in partnership with Macquarie University detect and respond to security attacks on applications in the cloud, using simplified technologies that use a risk-based approach for recovery and response. And we use multi-source network and system data to identify collusion during evolving cyberattacks, in partnership with Deakin University. 

Learn more about the automation of cybersecurity 

Expansion through connection

Ribit networking event

Data61, at its core, is a network. The formation of connections between a broad and diverse range of players in cybersecurity injects momentum into the expansion of growing industries. We’ve launched SINET61 (Security Innovation Network), partnered with the Australia Cyber Security Growth Network (ACSGN) and opened the Victorian Cyber Security and Innovation hub in Melbourne. Ribit, our match-making service for students and start-ups, held a cybersecurity-focused event in Canberra in May 2017. 

Learn more about Data61’s collaboration and partnerships in cybersecurity

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