Why a leading edge cyber security firm chose SA for growth

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By Melissa Keogh

Cyber security company VeroGuard Systems was lured to South Australia by the position of the state’s defence precinct, its “world-class” universities and skilled workforce, says the company’s Iain Moore.

Last year the Melbourne-based company announced plans to establish a $57.5m advanced manufacturing and operations facility at the Edinburgh Park industry estate in Adelaide’s north.

The move will create almost 600 jobs in three years, with about 400 of them employees from Adelaide’s northern areas including former automotive workers.

In February 2017 it was announced the 600 jobs boost could grow by another 1500 following a partnership with Adelaide company LVX Group.

The new advanced manufacturing facility and Global Network Operations Centre, supported by a $6m State Government grant, will allow the company to produce cards and software enabling ‘hyper-secure’ online transactions.

So what place does a cyber security company have in SA and what does it mean for the state’s burgeoning defence and shipbuilding industries?

“Cyber security underpins the ability for development and execution of sensitive material to be done in an effective manner,” says Iain, VeroGuard’s commercial general manager.

“Imagine if every time someone wanted to share some information it needed to be printed, put in a briefcase and physically taken to someone else.

“Although a USB stick can now play the part of the printer, much information cannot be simply downloaded and emailed to a colleague, as the security level is not high enough.

“VeroGuard enables that collaboration or interoperability.”

The spotlight was put on the importance of cyber security in the defence sector in 2017 when sensitive information about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was stolen from a small business.

VeroGuard, originally based in Melbourne, has developed the world’s first digital identity platform and cyber security network to prevent hacking and secure the internet for VeroGuard System users.

“Put simply it creates a secure environment in which users can create content online, transmit that content and store it without fear of hackers stealing their information,” Iain says.

“Cyber security is a key enabler in defence industries due to the highly sensitive nature of the data created, transmitted and stored by organisations in that industry,” Iain says.

“VeroGuard Systems has developed a solution that solves these risks at a level that can be accepted by defence and their contractors.”

Iain says VeroGuard intends to work with many of the contractors involved in the naval shipbuilding program, set to unfold in SA over coming decades and bring thousands of jobs.

Born and bred in SA, Iain worked in large technology companies before an opporunity at VeroGuard was too good to miss.

VeroGuard Systems commercial general manager Iain Moore.

He says a return to home soil is possible due to the company’s growth in SA.

For now, the jobs involved in the company’s advanced manufacturing side will be long-term and “brand new roles”, Iain says.

“Due to the nature and intellectual property, the assembly will need to be completed onshore in Australia,” he says.

“The chain of custody related to these processes mean that offshore assembly is not an option, so former auto workers out of Holden or other auto suppliers will be very well suited at the VeroGuard Systems facility.”

The company is also teaming up with the University of Adelaide to collaborate on research around cyber security and to create content for newly designed courses in the sector.

Iain says SA universities’ links to defence and STEM fields were a key drawcard in VeroGuard’s growth plans.

Other pulling factors included the skilled workforce from the car making industry as well as the Edinburgh Defence Precinct, he adds.

I Choose SA for Shipbuilding and Defence Industries stories are made possible by City of Salisbury:

Visit the I Choose SA for Industry website to learn more stories about key industry leaders, why they’ve chosen SA as a base and how the state is enabling them to succeed.

 

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