Tackling cybercrime is a team sport

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Despite the strong competition among the major banks in Australia, there’s a more united approach  when it comes to fighting cybercrime.

Sandro Bucchianeri, Chief Security Officer at NAB joined his counterparts from other major Australian banks at the Grok Academy Cyber Live event this week, where they spoke to over 12,000 school students across the country about cybercrime and what a career in cybersecurity looks like.

“At the end of the day, we’re stronger when we work together to protect the Australian community. That’s why we effectively share intelligence such as indicators of compromise to better protect our customers, colleagues and the community,” said Mr Bucchianeri.

“The threats that one bank might see could be new information to another bank, so it’s important to share these insights so all banks can protect their customers. Our competitors in this case are the cyber criminals, not the other banks.”

Seven people in seven individual screens looking straight
The Chief Security Officers speaking at the Grok Academy Cyber Live event

Cyber threats constantly emerging

Over the 2020–21 financial year, the Australian Cyber Security Centre received over 67,500 cybercrime reports, an increase of nearly 13 per cent from the previous financial year. This equals a cyber-attack every eight minutes.

To combat this, NAB is continuously stepping up its cyber defence capabilities and monitors the threat landscape and security technology trends around-the-clock. One example is NAB’s partnership with BugCrowd, a controlled crowdsourcing method to assist the bank to further test and strengthen its existing cybersecurity capabilities, helping to keep colleagues and customers safe from cyber threats.

Another way NAB is leading in online safety is through its use of device behavioural biometrics such as BioCatch. NAB was the first Australian bank to roll out the technology, which plays a role in proactively detecting fraudulent activities which could have a significant financial impact on customers.

“We are constantly looking at new ways we can protect our customers and their accounts,” Mr Bucchianeri said.

“BioCatch uses behavioural biometrics which plays a role in helping us proactively detect fraudulent activities which could help save our customers from significant financial impacts if they become a victim of a scam.”

Hot jobs and a diverse pool of talent

This year, NAB’s largest ever technology intern intake will see over 500 interns at NAB, with many of them working in cyber security to protect NAB and our customers. It’s helping to resolve the broader digital skills challenge, with the country facing a shortage of an estimated 25,000 cyber security roles.

The technology intern program includes a return-to-work (RTW) stream for people who have had a career break, as well as a neuro-diverse program.

“Just like soccer, where you have strikers, defenders, midfielders, goalkeepers, doctors, coaches, nutritionists, and the list goes on, we are looking for new diverse talent that will help us better defend the organisation. Something that I’m personally very excited about is training visually impaired students to become cybersecurity professionals,” Mr Bucchianeri said.

NAB’s own cyber security and fraud divisions include a diverse pool of talent including those from traditional pathways but also colleagues with a background in criminology, ex-police force, and other areas.

Investing in the future

Since 2018, NAB has been a proud sponsor of the Grok Academy, a not-for-profit focused on encouraging students into a career in IT and cyber.

Dr. James Curran, CEO of Grok Academy, said Grok’s Cyber STEPs project would help address the critical need for schools, government and Australia’s business sectors to meet the immediate skills shortage.

“Cyber STEPs will grow the skills pipeline through high-impact national cyber competitions, cyber hunts, and authentic technical Challenges. Cyber STEPs will enable a wider audience to step from cyber novice to professional by developing their technical skills and confidence.”

Grok produces web-based cyber challenges based on real life scenarios for primary and high school students, such as the Cyber Live event held in March 2022.

NAB supports the Grok Academy with colleague participation in educational videos and mentoring, as well as sitting on the Grok Academy advisory board to provide subject matter expertise on curriculum content and industry insights.

NAB also sponsors Grok’s National Computer Science School (NCSS) program which teaches students to code through its twice-yearly NCSS Challenge.

Other partners of the Grok Academy include Australian Signals Directorate, Amazon Web Services, BT, Fifth Domain, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.

Students sitting at computer screens in a classroom with a man pointing at one of the screens
Dr James Curran and Model Farms High School students

Interested in a career in cyber security at NAB?

View the current job vacancies at NAB.

For more information, head to NAB Technology Careers Page.

Further information

Grok Academy

For advice on how to keep safe online, head to nab.com.au/security

Customers, banking & finance

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