The Australian Government recognises Cyber Security is a top national security priority and is currently reviewing the existing Cyber Security Strategy introduced in 2009. The Australian Cyber Security Research Institute (ACSRI) seeks to support the Australian Government’s focus on this growing problem by bringing together a collaborative network of researchers, universities, government and industry partners nationwide. Representing Australia’s first coordinated strategic research and education effort between national cyber security agencies, industry and researchers, ACSRI will deliver an Australia-wide approach to respond to cyber threats and cyber crime.

Why does Australia need to build capacity in cyber security?

A Complex and Growing Problem

Cyber Security is a complicated and unbounded problem with potentially serious impacts on Australia’s national productivity and international competitiveness; and on the social wellbeing and quality of life of its citizens.

The nature of data networks, their access points and the infrastructure on which they operate are proliferating beyond traditional wired connections to include a wide variety of short and long range wireless technologies and high speed fibre optic transmission lines.

In addition, connections to cyberspace are increasing almost geometrically in number and type. Internet enabled devices and systems include a growing range of personal mobile, computing and household devices, private and public sector networks, smart grids, wireless sensors, vehicles and critical infrastructure. With these new systems comes a wider range of operating systems and programs with unique vulnerabilities.

While advances enable wider use and greater benefits from cyberspace, those with security responsibilities are struggling to keep abreast of these rapid changes and associated vulnerabilities. Our increasing usage and reliance on electronic communications and data storage coupled with the rapid proliferation of means to access electronic network creates an attractive opportunity for crime and misuse. As a result we are now seeing an increase in the volume and sophistication of cyber attacks.

Not surprisingly conventional measures such as virus scanners and firewalls are necessary but not sufficient to provide an adequate defence against such dedicated and organised criminal elements. To combat a threat of this magnitude and diversity, a coordinated effort between the private and public sectors together with the academic and research community is required.


Australian governments, businesses and individuals are under sustained cyber attack.

The key challenge for ACSRI is to discover new ways to detect, analyse and respond to cyber threats, whilst recognising that for Australia to remain internationally competitive and maintain our quality of life, the need to protect must be balanced with gaining the benefits of the digital economy.

Against this backdrop ACSRI co-ordinates a network of researchers, universities, government and industry partners dedicated to advancing and enhancing Australia’s cyber security knowledge and capacity and delivering an Australia wide approach to addressing cyber threats.

Governance and Structure

ACSRI is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee (ACSRI Ltd), incorporated and domiciled in Australia. A Company Constitution and a Consortium Agreement provide a comprehensive governance foundation and define the key rights and obligations of all participants. ACSRI is an Approved Research Institute and participants’ contributions to ACSRI research may qualify for R&D tax incentives. ACSRI is also a registered Deductible Gifts Recipient, so untied donations may be fully tax deductible.

Board and Committees

ACSRI is governed by a Board of Directors with two sub-committees and a Research Committee.

Board of Directors

The ACSRI Board’s responsibilities will include determining the strategic direction of ACSRI, allocation of funds following consultation with members, establishing and then regularly reviewing a portfolio of research projects based on advice from the Research Committee to ensure goals are met, and overseeing IP commercialisation activities.

Meet the ACSRI Board

Audit and Risk Committee

Will be an advisory committee of the board of directors charged with oversight of risk management matters, audit of research performance and financial reporting and disclosure. 

Research Committee

The role of this committee is to oversee and review the effectiveness, relevance and direction of ACSRI’s research programs and projects against Project Participant expectations. The committee will identify new research directions, review/revise the best ways to disseminate new products and services and make recommendations to the Board on any necessary variations to the research program. 

Nomination and Selection Committee

Will be responsible for for reviewing and recommending board candidates (based on member nominations), reappointment or dismissal of board members, reviewing board member remuneration and proposing the remuneration and performance criteria associated with the CEO’s contract of employment.