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 third parties.

Current & past activities

2024 projectsStatusNotes
Third party risk and assurance           OngoingSector third party system available through CAUDIT offering. HECVATs provided to all CAUDIT Members.
AHECS 2024 SummitIn progressEvent scheduled for 01-03 October at Hotel Realm, Canberra.
BenchmarkingIn progressAll surveys currently open for Members to complete. This year, we have expanded internationally, to provide sector based analytics at a global level.
AHECS threat intel sharingIn progressOngoing threat sharing, communication between partners, and continual review of Member requirements
AHECS ISACIn progressUplift maturity
Community buildingIn progressContinue to build online community and assess engagement methods 
Service assessmentIn progressPartner mapping and and gap analysis
2023 projectsStatusNotes
Third party risk and assurance           OngoingSector third party system available through CAUDIT offering.
AHECS 2023 SummitCompletedEvent held 31 October - 03 November at Hotel Realm, Canberra.
BenchmarkingCompletedReports sent to participating Members. Summary of Baseline sent to all Members.
2022 projectsStatusProject manager/sNotes
AHECS ISAC launchCompletedMike HolmCTIS connected, communication to follow early August
AHECS 2022 SummitCompletedNikki PeeverWorking group form, venue booked, program in progress
Government collaborationCompletedAll partnersMonthly update to Executive Steering Committee
Website launchCompletedNikki PeeverAHECS website launched
Baseline benchmarking (2022)CompletedNikki PeeverReport sent to all participating institutions, summary report sent to all CAUDIT members
Systems benchmarking (2022)CompletedNikki PeeverReport sent to all participating institutions
Maturity benchmarking (2022)CompletedNikki PeeverResults sent to participating institutions, overall improvement across sector

Governance Structure

We are grateful to the volunteers who form our governance.

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

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.