School of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Brisbane locals got a special insight into the future of cyberwarfare last night, at a public lecture at The University of Queensland’s Customs House.

The event was UQ’s first public lecture on cyber security and featured the Australian Defence Force’s Head of Information Warfare Major General Marcus Thompson AM, who made it clear that the new frontier of war has arrived and with it comes big challenges.

“How we are structuring for future threats, and how we are preparing to defend ourselves in a world that has already changed more times than could have been predicted even five years ago, is our imminent challenge,” Major General Thompson said.

“If we want to protect ourselves against cyber conflict as a nation, we have to examine our online security practices as individuals.

“We lock our doors at home to protect our belongings, but leave our cyber door wide open to enemies we can’t see, and don’t necessarily understand.

“The desire to share and connect with families and friends online has to be balanced against the potential threat of sharing too much information which, once public, is easily accessible to individuals or groups who intend to do harm.”

Major General Thompson said people only need to take simple precautions to keep their information safe.

“Switch your social media accounts to private, think carefully about sharing content that may reveal personal information about you, your family or your employer, and disable location services wherever possible.

Director and Chair of UQ Cyber Security Professor Ryan Ko said while the landscape continues to evolve, UQ is equipping graduates with the skills to navigate future cyber challenges.   

 “We are now in an era where cyberwarfare is a reality not just for defence entities, but also stakeholders and consumers in the civilian space,” Professor Ko said.

“Our research and education programme has been specifically designed to address the key issues around education, fundamental and applied technology research, policy development and research commercialisation.

 “Together with its partners, UQ will develop the top graduates and industry leaders in the cyber security sector.”

The public lecture was hosted in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and also featured an expert panel including the Queensland Government’s Chief Information Officer, Andrew Mills; Chief Executive of Powerlink Queensland, Merryn York and UQ law and ethics researcher Associate Professor Rain Liivoja.

View the full album of photographs at the UQ Engineering and Technology Facebook page.