Community outreach

As part of our mission to increase awareness and student engagement in cyber security education and training, a number of collaboration and outreach activities were conducted.

Cybersecurity workshops for school students

We communicate complicated concepts to students by simplifying them using gamified education. We cover classical security algorithms as well as new trends including security analytics. Apart from the educational point of view, we collect and analyse statistics on our learning objectives, developed strategies and outcomes to evaluate the effectiveness of different schemes in delivering cybersecurity related education and awareness programs to different age groups.

Examples of our workshops are:

Hands-on Computing and Engineering

A recurrent program in the University of Melbourne that holds events for Year 10 students. Each event has approximately 40 students. We provide a session on cyber security as part of a day-long program on Engineering and IT called "Stolen data, fake news, malicious phishing attacks". It covers secure communication and authentication including traditional cryptography and key management algorithms as well as an introduction to public-key cryptography. We have successfully communicated complicated concepts such as public-key cryptography to students by designing several games that engage students in small and large groups.

Go Girl Go For IT

A female-only event that happens every two years. Students in different age groups are exposed to wide variety of workshops. We customised our "Stolen data, fake news, malicious phishing attacks" program to be able to give it to diverse age-groups. We also have a booth for the University of Melbourne running by representative female role-models to encourage female students to take career pathways in engineering and more specifically in cybersecurity.

Go Girl Go

Programming Challenge for Girls (PC4G)

PC4G covers the concepts of object-oriented programming and is being held three times a year. It has one stream for students with basic or no knowledge of programming and another one for advanced students. We run a session on security analytics for the advanced group of students that already have programming skills. The areas that we cover include anomaly detection and its application for detecting malicious behaviour. We simplify this problem by designing computer games that have anomaly detection components. Through visualisation of anomalies characteristics, which helps students to understand the concepts, we guide them to write their own codes to complete the games.

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Supporting and enhancing the engagement of university students

In early 2018 we commenced collaboration with a new University student-led club called the Melbourne Information Security Club (MISC), which runs training and workshops for career planning and "hands-on" experience in cyber security. ACSSE collaborates with MISC in different ways including giving talks and participating in training workshops, inviting security professionals as guest speakers in one-day events, providing mentorship for students to participate in cybersecurity hackathons and challenges such as Cyber Security Challenge Australia (CySCA).

We facilitate and provide opportunities for students to build their professional network and learn about different career pathways in cybersecurity. In Cyber Week in July, ACCSE collaborated with AustCyber in running a Speed-dating event with 25 top-tier companies and SMEs, which involved engaging 130 distinguished students from all universities in Victoria.

We also promoted Victorian Summer Tech LIVE pilot scheme for summer internships with SMEs via a "matchmaking" workshop between universities, TAFE and cyber SMEs in Victoria. The workshop was held in conjunction with the OCSC and the Victorian Dept of EDJTR on 24 October 2017 and attracted staff from at least 12 SMEs. This led to 13 students working on seven cyber focused projects with five SMEs.

Other outreach activities

In addition to these two main streams of outreach activities, the Centre:

  • Collaborates closely with seven other Victorian universities through the Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC), which has led to our involvement in three joint "proof-of-concept" projects with other universities to build demonstrators of our research for industry.
  • Collaborates with AustCyber on promoting outreach, training plans, roundtable meetings and the cyber trade mission to Israel.
  • Participates in numerous training forums for industry and government.
  • Has been part of the Advisory Board for planning the Civil Security Congress and Exposition (CIVSEC 2018) in Melbourne in May 2018. We provide staff to give presentations and career advice on cyber security.
  • Contributed to the Data61 Cyber Summer School (Melbourne 12–13 February 2018), through a visit by a keynote speaker (Prof N. Asokan, Aalto University, Finland, on "Securing cloud-assisted services") supported by the Melbourne School of Engineering, as well as lecture by Assoc Prof Ben Rubinstein on "Towards turn-key differential privacy".
  • Has held several meetings with colleagues from the ECU ACCSE to exchange ideas on how to promote the goals of the ACCSE scheme.


Industry partnerships