About Us

Digital transformation is occurring faster than ever in every sector, from health, manufacturing, and energy to agriculture. Digital manufacturing, the Internet of Energy, Smart Farming and Digital Health are examples of industries that have undergone a massive transformation, transitioning our economy to a digital economy. Hence, cyberattacks become one of the significant risks to the functioning of our society and our A$ 2.5 trillion economy.Emerging technologies like Quantum, 6G, AI/ML, AR/VR/XR, and Digital Twins will significantly speed up the transformation while providing more attack surfaces to cyber attacks. At the same time, cyberattacks are increasing in volume and sophistication and getting more complex, adaptive and non-deterministic. The group focuses on solving security challenges (a) at these emerging technologies’ intersections and (b) caused while transitioning to these new technologies and developing innovative human-centric security solutions.  

The current practice is to develop patches as and when the vulnerabilities are determined; we refer to it as “security by patching”. As new solutions are built and released, security is often considered later, allowing attackers to identify vulnerabilities and prepare and launch their attacks successfully. To address this challenge, the new paradigm, called “security by design”, is being promoted in academia and industry. However, with the advancement of technologies, the system designed today using the security by design principle may not be secure against future threats. To address this challenge, we coined the term “security by continuous improvement design“, with resiliency and agility main features. Our security solutions are driven by the principle of security by continuous improvement design.  

The group has four research teams as follows:  

  • Cyber Security Automation and Orchestration (CySA), led by Dr Seyit Camtepe
  • Distributed Systems Security (DSS), led by Dr Sharif Abuadbba
  • Human-Centric Security (HCS), led by Dr Marthie Grobler
  • Quantum Systems (QS), led by Dr Usman Muhammad



The DSS team was formed in 2012 by bringing together expertise in software engineering and distributed systems with a specific focus on security, privacy and trust to lead the cyber security activities within CSIRO ICT Centre. During the research alignment process undertaken within Data61 in 2016, after the merger of CSIRO’s Digital Productivity and NICTA, the team was repositioned as a DSS group. The group has grown significantly since 2016 in terms of its capacity and activities; by strengthening the security capacities within the group and by enlarging the cyber security projects undertaken by the group. The group has gained significant strength during the Data61 reshaping exercise in 2020 and has repositioned as a Cybersecurity and Quantum Systems (CQS) group. The group has over 120 members, including over 50 research staff, over 40 research students and quite a few visiting scientists and affiliates.


Senior Principal Research Scientist, CQS Group Leader

Principal Research Scientist, CQS Sciences Lead