The development of AHECS

The Australasian Higher Education Cybersecurity Service (AHECS) was formed in 2019 as an initiative from CAUDIT members. AHECS is delivered in collaboration with Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet), AusCERT, Council of Australasian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT), Research and Education Advanced Network New Zealand (REANNZ), and the Australian Access Federation (AAF).

AHECS is a higher education sector collective that leverages the capabilities and expertise of its partner entities to strengthen the overall cybersecurity posture of the sector. AHECS acts as the sectors peak cybersecurity body and represents the sector on cybersecurity issues.

AHECS’s purpose is aligned to the principles of being stronger together and ‘all boats lift on a rising tide’. It is a collective developed specifically for the sector, by the sector, to address capability gaps and help defend the sector from continuously evolving cybersecurity threats. This is achieved through coordination of members and partners to inform direction, advocate, share intelligence, reduce barriers to the implementation of good practice, identify and act on capability gaps, and holistically defend the sector from continuously evolving cyber security threats in conjunction with key vendors.

Current activities

2022 projectsStatusProject manager/sNotes
AHECS ISAC launchMike HolmCTIS connected, communication to follow early August
AHECS 2022 SummitNikki PeeverWorking group form, venue booked, program in progress
Employment benchmarkingAndrew Morgan, Fadi Jafari, Nikki Peever PMs have initiated planning and questions, sought external feedback (Gartner), to follow up
AHECS training certificationDavid Stockdale, Nikki PeeverPMs to initiate, some vendor input sought
Internship/student engagementDavid StockdalePM to initiate and update in August Executive Steering meeting
Ongoing activities
Government collaborationAll partnersMonthly update to Executive Steering Committee
Online presence and communityKarl SellmannInitial planning completed, update in August Executive Steering meeting
Third party risk assessmentsGreg SawyerMonthly update to Executive Steering Committee
2022 completed projects
Website launchNikki PeeverAHECS website launched
Baseline benchmarking (2022)Nikki PeeverReport sent to all participating institutions, summary report sent to all CAUDIT members
Systems benchmarking (2022)Nikki PeeverReport sent to all participating institutions
Maturity benchmarking (2022)Nikki PeeverResults sent to participating institutions, overall improvement across sector

Governance Structure

We are grateful to the volunteers who form our governance.

Advisory Council: Our AHECS Advisory Council set the direction for AHECS and meet bi-annually to oversee strategy and activities.

Executive Steering Committee: Our AHECS Executive Steering Committee meet monthly and set priorities and AHECS planning

Operations Group: Our AHECS Operations Group meet monthly and undertake the operational activities associated with AHECS, reporting progress to the Steering Committee.

Advisory Council

Executive Steering Committee

AHECS acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of all First Nations people.