Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities in Australia: Shining a Light on Breaches in Financial Services, Retail and Utilities

Location: Sydney, NSW or can work anywhere in Australia remotely

Duration: 5 months

Proposed start date: February 2019

Project Background

The ever-growing reliance on data and interconnectivity in today’s digital landscape ushers new risks of large-scale cybersecurity incidents with cascading disruptive consequences. With the internet of things (IoT) becoming ubiquitous, and consumers/governments demanding products with an emphasis on cybersecurity and privacy, organisations are revamping their security policies.

As much as business leaders are clear-eyed about the new risks, they are often blind to the vulnerabilities within their own security strategy. To communicate these vulnerabilities and open avenues to discuss how businesses can develop the resilience to withstand them, we are looking for a PhD student with expertise in data visualisation, research or commerce to research, collate and communicate these vulnerabilities in a digestible format.

Research to be Conducted

  • Research and report on publicly listed security breaches in Australia over the past 18 months within the Financial Services, Retail and Utility sectors.
  • Piece together the trends within these industries to paint a picture of the unique vulnerabilities of each sector
  • Present these findings in a digestible, visual and compelling format (ie. Infographics, industry reports, PPT, etc)

Skills Required


  • Research
  • Data analysis
  • Data visualisation
  • Report writing


  • Experience on large-scale analysis techniques since the intern will need to handle large amounts of data

Expected Outcomes

Project details:

  • Research parameters: <18 months since incident
  • Industries
    o Financial Services
    o Retail
    o Utilities
  • Deliverables (per industry)
    o Breach report
    o Visualisation graph
    o Trends/Vulnerability report
  1. Provide 3 separate reports on all publicly listed security breaches in Australia over the past 18 months for Financial services organisations (1), Retail business (2) and utilities (3).
  2. Provide a data visualisation graph that outlines those vulnerabilities across each sector.
  3. Write 3x 2-page assessments of the trends existing across each industry, the vulnerabilities unique to each sector, the opportunity cost of a weak security posture specific to each industry.

Each Industry project will be completed in stages. There will be 3 delivery dates throughout the program in the order of financial services first, retail second and utilities last.

Additional Details

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of stipend payments.

SecureWorks are expecting the intern to work remotely 4 days between Monday to Friday during business hours, with fortnightly sprints agreed upon prior to execution of the project. The intern will work closely with their academic mentor and supervisor to keep track of timeline and deliverables. Weekly check-ins with SecureWorks will ensure continuous support.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

Applications Close

27 February 2019


APR – 0809