Canada’s push for stricter research security is gaining attention, but Australia is lagging behind. While countries like the US, UK, and the Netherlands are taking steps to protect their research programs from espionage and foreign interference, Australia has yet to prioritize research security. Despite real threats to Australian universities, the topic is not widely discussed or recognized in the country. A parliamentary inquiry in 2022 highlighted coercion, suppression, and foreign interference on Australian campuses, but few of its recommendations have been implemented. Australia has thousands of research agreements with China, some of which may pose security risks. The Five Eyes intelligence agencies have labeled China an “unprecedented threat” to global research. With the AUKUS agreement, Australia will receive closely guarded military secrets from the US, but the country has not taken sufficient measures to ensure their protection. While there are some voluntary guidelines and frameworks in place, they pale in comparison to those of international allies. Australia may need a research security scandal to prompt action and should engage in open discussions between universities and intelligence services, develop a robust research security policy, and learn from successful approaches implemented by other countries. Failing to prioritize research security puts Australia’s entrusted secrets at risk.