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Google looks to hire Australian hackers

Google is searching for Australia’s best and brightest hackers to employ them for hard-to-fill cyber security positions at the search giant’s own business. The tech giant's Australian hiring raid may likely exacerbate the IT skills shortage in government agencies.

This step has been taken by the Google because of a difficulty in finding the right mix of people to take up cyber security positions. Despite the various specialised courses offered by Australian universities, not many appear to be interested in taking up the courses. The number of people taking up information and communications technology degrees has halved over the last decade according to the Government's Cyber Security Strategy.

Moreover, “it’s difficult to find such people who have the skills of hacking into a system but ultimately want to make it more secure and not use those skills negatively and are also willing to work in a big software company,” said Google Chrome’s security head, Parisa Tabriz.

The shortage can also be felt by Google which is now looking to hire as many quality cyber security positions in Australia as it can.

But Google’s gain could be government’s loss. The federal government expects demand for cyber security services and related jobs — such as legal services, insurance and risk management — will grow by at least 21% over the next five years.

The government services though have been competing with private firms on salaries. It is a common problem for governments across the globe when attempting to attract people for jobs, to fall short of being able to provide the kind of salaries and perks that private firms serve up to prospective employees.

Two weeks ago, the giant US-based telco Verizon announced it has strengthened its armoury in the fight against cyber adversaries with its investment in next-generation security capabilities at its Asia-Pacific Advanced Security Operations Centre in Canberra.

The opening of the new security centre followed Verizon’s appointment last December to the federal government’s new whole of government telecommunications services panel which provides coordinated telecommunications services.
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