The current landscape

Physical assets are being connected to networks and data is being extracted from machines enabling organisations to apply big data analytics including artificial intelligence and machine learning to achieve greater efficiencies. As these systems grow and become increasingly interconnected, vulnerabilities multiply, and systems that are trustworthy and resilient become increasingly important.

Organisations that demonstrate strong cyber resilience are quicker to market, have the ability to automate and share data with confidence across their supply chain and with partners and reap the cost benefits of these additional business synergies.

With cybercrime a growing reality for small and large organisations, building trustworthy and resilient systems, understanding risks and human behaviour and keeping teams aware of these by strengthening cybersecurity management has never been more imperative.

Our cyber security research and development has generated new research outputs and technology, now being trialled and implemented by government and corporates.  ©iStock


  • We build technology that is mathematically proven to achieve trustworthiness to the highest degree
  • We are a trusted advisor to government and corporate partners to help them understand where risks and vulnerabilities are coming from and how to mitigate them
  • We conduct 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

Explore our work

Cyber security research and industry partnership

CSIRO’s Data61 is a member of the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, a collaborative organisation established by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources that includes AustCyber, Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), Penten, Qunitessence Labs, CISCO, NAB, Optus, ECU, and UNSW. 

Key focus areas of the CSCRC are critical infrastructure security, cyber security solutions, and emerging cyber law and policy.

Recent work untaken by Data61 and the CSCRC include the security evaluation of the COVIDSafe app, and projects include:

Strategic partnership with Defence Science and Technology Group

CSIRO’s Data61 and DST work together under a Strategic Partnership Agreement, undertaking collaborative research and development for new capabilities to support Australia’s Defence.

Over 24 projects have been undertaken in collaboration with 14 of Australia’s leading cyber security research universities, supported with over $15M of funding from Defence’s Next Generation Technology Fund.


Our Trustworthy Systems team developed seL4 to provide a reliable, secure, fast and verified foundation for building trustworthy systems. seL4 is the world’s fastest operating system kernel designed for security and safety. It runs on a variety of hardware platforms and can also run virtual machines to support legacy software. seL4-based systems have been used in several real-world projects for the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DAPRA) including flying a helicopter, handling classified military information and securing an enhanced soldier vision helmet. An earlier variant, OKL4, has been deployed in over two billion phones.

seL4 for dependable systems software

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

Cross Desk Compositor

We collaborated with the Defence Science and Technology Group to develop the Cross Domain Desktop Compositor (CDDC) product, designed to allow secure access to several discrete domains for a single user, on a single computer. It improves productivity in Defence and provides a means to securely access multiple isolated networks.

Securing Internet of Things (IoT) applications

loT is being used in a number of industries: precision agriculture, smart energy grids, smart cities, environmental monitoring, smart homes, smart health. We have developed a secure IoT platform in collaboration with Boeing which provides a control centre that users can connect to all their appliances with in a secure and safe way - such as fridges, air conditioners or sound systems. The technology can be used in other scenarios such as for transport and logistics, infrastructure management or monitoring the environment for agriculture, mining or biodiversity.

Numerous computers and servers housed in server racks.

Automating cybersecurity

Humans are not available around the clock to monitor, learn and respond to cyber security threats quickly, hence the need for automation. Together with our partners Defence Science and Technology Group, Deakin University, the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University, we have investigated automated penetration testing using artificial intelligence planning and developed an adversarial machine-learning approach to avoid counter attacks that exploit learning algorithms. We are also working with Macquarie University on cloud-based defence systems for attack on virtual applications on the cloud.

Cyber security for ports

Data61 and the Defence, Science and Technology Group have started early exploration of cyber security risk modelling for the ports industry to tackle cyber-physical threats impacting national security.

Ribit networking event

Expansion through connection

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.

Data61 Cybersecurity FY16/17 Year End Update

Cyber research and industry partnership using AI

We have partnered with Penten and the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC) to offer postdoctoral research fellowship positions and five PhD scholarships to work on applying AI and machine learning to bring scale and automation to the creation of realistic and enticing cyber traps by learning from real data aimed at deceiving attackers.

Promoting cyber literacy

We have partnered with the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the University of NSW’s Graduate School of Management's to boost the digital and cyber literacy of directors.

Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

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