The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has unveiled new Certified Professional (Cyber Security) and Certified Technologist (Cyber Security) certifications in Canberra today.

ACS President Anthony Wong made the announcement in conjunction with the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security, the Hon Dan Tehan.

“I’m very pleased to announce the release of the new Certified Professional (Cyber Security) and Certified Technologist (Cyber Security) specialism, as an expression of establishing this benchmark in Australia,” Wong told the audience at the cyber security breakfast panel discussion this morning.

“I believe it is probably one of the first in the world, and I believe it is one of the only professional standard certifications which is actually backed up by legislation in states and territories, so Australia is well ahead of the world in this regard.”

The new certification program aims to increase professional standards around cybersecurity, and lift Australia’s overall cyber resilience.

“We have established a scheme that government and businesses can use to protect our private data,” said Wong.

“Establishing this certification, where the applicant must commit to a code of ethics, a code of professional practice, and to undertake ongoing professional development help us provide a level of certainty and trustworthiness.

“By employing a professional with Certified Professional or Certified Technologist with cyber security, businesses and government are demonstrating to our consumers that their cyber security professionals have undergone a rigorous training process.”

Tehan recently launched the government’s Australian Cyber Security Growth Network’s Cyber Security Sector Competitiveness Plan, and believed this scheme could help ensure Australia’s cyber capabilities.

“What are we going to need to make sure we can enhance this capability? We’re going to have to make sure that we have the skills within the Australian community to keep providing the human resources we’re going to need in this area,” he said.

“We need everyone playing their part when it comes to cyber security.

“We need it when it comes to ensuring that our professionals have the right qualifications and have the right standards.”

“What we are seeing with the launch of this initiative is that industry is doing their part, and is recognising there is a need for professional standards and they’re starting to develop those, which is very welcome news.”

The announcement comes after an ACS Cyber TaskForce, led by cyber security expert Professor Jill Slay, reviewed cyber security frameworks over the last 12 months, and found the need for cyber security to be recognised as a standalone speciality.

The Cyber TaskForce review came after ACS earlier this year revealed the average cyber crime attack in Australia costs businesses over $400 000, up from $276 000 just two years ago.