Macquarie says the 200 security-cleared staff is double the number the company had a year ago.
The clearances are Australian Government security accreditations governed by the Department of Defence. They require rigorous background assessments of individuals, security training, and certification in order to receive them, and permit access to classified information and resources up to and including the secret level.
The accreditation comes timely as there is shortage of skills in the IT industry and cybercrimes continue to rise.
Cybersecurity growth network AustCyber predicted in its 2021 annual report that the country needs 10,000 additional cybersecurity specialists by 2025 in order to mitigate threats and protect sovereign data.
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) data shows about one cybercrime is reported every 10 minutes.
Macquarie government managing director Aidan Tudehope says the impact of cyberattacks against government are far more serious than those against private enterprises, due to the nature of the data in play.
“Attack attempts on government data and departments are far more frequent than what we see in enterprise settings,” claims Tudehope.
“Government holds the nation’s data crown jewels. It belongs to all of us. Our government is entrusted to secure that data on behalf of every Australian. On the other hand, as individual citizens, we make the choice to share—or not—our personal data with private enterprises. These decisions are ours to make,” adds Tudehope.
The decisions on where and how sovereign data is stored and protected is the responsibility of the government, says Tudehope.
“This also highlights the importance of the supply chain engaged to assist government with the storage and protection of that data. We see it as our responsibility to invest in the sovereign skills and security clearances needed to provide the Commonwealth with the level of capability that is required to support this vital national asset,” concludes Tudehope.
At the state level, Macquarie is also building a Sovereign Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CSCOE) in partnership with the New South Wales Government. This will be housed in the company’s new Intellicentre 3 (IC3) Super West data centre in Sydney.