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Australia Fortifies Cyber Defense by Investing in AUSHIELD

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Few weeks back, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison briefed the nation about sustained cyberattacks carried out by a sophisticated state-sponsored actor. To fortify the cyberspace, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has been ever since taking counter measures and giving advisories to businesses around the country to defend themselves form cyberattacks. In continuation, Australia has now decided to add yet another defensive shield in the cyberspace–the AUSHIELD.

Cybermerc, the cybersecurity company who developed the Aushield Defend cyberthreat intelligence platform, has secured a $1.22 million funding from AustCyber. Cybermerc plans to use this investment in further developing and implement the Aushield platform in protecting Australian industry, researchers, and academia from cyberattacks. It also plans to partly use these funds towards a TAFE cybersecurity education project, which is a University of Adelaide project to provide schools with cyber resources, and a cyber security job platform.

What is Aushield Defend Platform?

Aushield Defend is a threat sharing platform developed by Cybermerc partnered by the Australian National University, Anomali, Vault Cloud and startups SecureStack and CounterSight. AustCyber, a non-profit organization established by the Australian Government, has recognized its importance in these critical times and under its $15 million quota as Projects Fund, it has further sponsored this threat sharing platform to enable Australian businesses to defend each other.

Aushield Detect and Protect

Aushield has two separate modules – Detect and Protect. Detect is a community of threat professionals and researchers who detect rulesets (STIX/TAXII) and reports concerning specific Malicious Cyber Actors and campaigns. When private businesses subscribe to a STIX/TAXII feed from Aushield Detect, the alerts can be directly integrated with their Intrusion Prevention and Detection Systems. Each industry is encouraged to upload their own STIX/TAXII rulesets for the benefit of the AUSHIELD community.

In the Aushield Protect module, there is a repository that collects data of various cyberattacks and malwares carried out on the worldwide network. This data can then be used by the community subscribers to train their artificial intelligence (AI) engines for future attacks and use machine learning (ML) to test the algorithms and implement them against latest attacks on Australian networks.