• Garrett O'Hara

    Garrett O’Hara is the Principal Technical Consultant at Mimecast having joined in 2015 with the opening of the Sydney office, leading the growth and development of the local team. With over 20 years of experience across development, UI/UX, technology communication, training development and mentoring, Garrett now works to help organisations understand and manage their cyber resilience strategies. When not talking about the cyber security landscape, data assurance approaches and business continuity Garrett can be found running, surfing or enjoying the many bars and eateries of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

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Garrett O'Hara

The Get Cyber Resilient Show Episode #21

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Gar O’Hara is joined once again by Dan McDermott and Bradley Sing for the June monthly roundup episode. Gar and Dan take a look back at some of the key learnings recent guests have brought to the show, Dan and Brad discuss the latest in cyber news including the recent cyber attacks on Lion as well as Fisher & Paykel, and Gar and Dan finish up the episode by discussing by far the most dramatic cyber event this month - the Prime Minister of Australia’s announcement that the country was under cyber attack!


#cybersecurity #cyberresilience #getcyberresilient

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The Get Cyber Resilient Show Episode #21 Transcript

Garrett O'Hara: [00:00:00] Welcome to The Get Cyber Resilient podcast. I'm Gar O'Hara and today we're doing our monthly news roundup. Co-host Dan McDermott, will take us through the episode today. He and I reflect on the guests and our learnings from each of the interviews. [inaudible 00:00:20] then joins Dan to cover the latest news where they talk about cyber reach headlines with the most high profile of those recently being out of line. Uh, our friends over in New Zealand, where one of the region's largest brands Fisher & Paykel got hit by ransomware privacy with the Commonwealth Bank and covering abusive messages hidden in thousands of digital transactions, the state of play with the COVIDSafe app, and then a very timely privacy topic, The Online University Exams and their use of technology to try and ensure invigilation. We finished the episode out with Dan and I are covering the PM's dramatic, or maybe not so dramatic announcements last week. So let's just stay on that one. Please enjoy the episode.

Dan McDermott: [00:01:00] Gar thanks for uh, having me back for another month on The Get Cyber Resilience show. Great opportunity for us to review, uh, the show over the last month and review the fact that we've launched season two, which is exciting, um, with another array of exciting guests that you've had, uh, appear on the show as well. You started off the month with our renowned cyber and governance commentator Shannon Sedgwick, from An- Ankura.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:01:24] Yeah, Shannon's an awesome guy. I met him, uh, maybe last year at a conference in Canberra, um, and he gave a pretty solid talk, um, then. And, um, it's funny, we kind of reconnected over the Covid App because I think we were pretty synced up in terms of what it all meant and, uh, and that. And, um, yeah, it was... That sort of felt, uh, really kind of good about the, the chat we had together. I think Shannon's one of those guys who is sort of pretty vocal um, but in a useful way, and kind of calls out the BS when he sees it. And is, um, always with a view to kind of driving the service security industry forward. So I think he's definitely one of those guys in the, uh, the industry that's kind of looked up to and, um, you know, people certainly listen to what he's got to say. I think you can see when he posts on LinkedIn, um, he's one of those guys that tends to get a lot of input and commentary because he's a guy who's kind of actively involved and, and sort of generally, you know, he cares about what's, what's going on. So yeah, it was a great chat with him.

Dan McDermott: [00:02:18] Yeah, very much. So you see, he's sought after for his commentary across the industry, which is, which is exciting that they would have him as a guest. You followed that up with uh, Dr. Kate [Haram 00:02:28] from the University of Adelaide's business school, on the topic of how to humanize cyber, which I found really interesting.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:02:36] Yeah. So Kate is in, she's an interesting lady. I met her at uh, the AC conference a few years ago when we were doing a think tank on the open floor of the conference, which is an amazing experience if anyone's been through that to try, to try and run a think tank with different groups. But, um, yeah, Kate's comments that day just stood out to me, um, was we were discussing the, you know, what to do after a attack. And she had this really insightful comment around the importance of culture and how you really need people to trust each other within an organization to do a good job of understanding what's gone wrong because people need to be okay with saying, Hey, look, I think I was the one who opened the document. So, I was the one who clicked on the link. They need to not feel afraid and they need to feel that that's okay.

Um, so yeah, I got in touch with her and we had a really good chat. Um, she leads the, uh, the research into the human aspects of cyber security at the University of Adelaide. So I think it's our first academic, um, which was, you know, kind of felt like a milestone. So when you have that level, um, an actual doctor, you know, it was kind of a pretty cool thing to be able to talk to somebody about that. And then Kate does deep research, which I think is an important part of this as well. It's not the, um, it's not the, the sort of small surveys. It's the very, very deep years long research into what does this all mean and, and how do we get the human aspects of cyber security working better?

Um, and she had a lot of really good insights into kind of that as a core discipline, but also like commentary on what I found was interesting. Like the VCs ability to invest into organizations based on where they're at with cyber security, you know, things that you maybe don't really think about too often, but, um, you know, the sort of upstream effects on whether a business will ever exist, you know, will they get the, the sort of round funding, maybe not because they aren't in a position to, you know, successfully execute on an idea because the VCs can see that they haven't taken care of cyber security. And so just yeah, an incredibly well rounded, um, conversation in my mind. It was, it was fantastic.

Dan McDermott: [00:04:29] Yeah. And there's no doubting that the challenge of cyber security is a human challenge. And I think she brings that to life really well. And explains what that means, that varying aspects and levels of, of that, uh, that's required to, to be successful in, in combating the challenge that we faced in front of us. You finish off the month with our final guest being Luke Francis from CrowdStrike in Australia, New Zealand on their security index report, which highlights the explosion of covid scans and the vulnerability of Australian businesses to those.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:05:02] Yeah. Luke is a, is a cool guy. I was actually chatting to somebody earlier today, like just a real eloquence, um, a good talker, you know, he's, he's one of those guys that he's very easy to kind of listen to. And CrowdStrike's global threat report, I think has become one of those, uh, must read reports. You know, a bit like the Verizon report. It's, it's kind of that level and that quality of data. Um, and look, it was a wide range, a wide ranging conversation. We talked about geo-political unrest and covids and how they even make the reports, you know, how do they, how do they make the sausages, as they say, um, so got to see a little bit behind the scenes there. So yeah, it was another kind of cracking conversation.

Dan McDermott: [00:05:41] Terrific. Yeah. It's great to get these global insights or reports, but also to see what they mean for our local businesses and the impact that we're having locally as well. So it's great to get these, these globally renowned insights into our region as well. So, um, another great month in June, of, uh, getting through all of those guests and really excited for the guests that you have lined up for us in July as well. So we're looking forward to next month's episodes and uh, continuing the conversation. Thanks again, Gar.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:06:09] Yeah. There's a few crackers on the way. So yeah, watch this space. Thanks Dan.

Now I'm joined by Bradley Singh, uh, to review what's made the news in cyber in June, Brad. Welcome back to the Get Cyber Resilient show.

Bradley Singh: [00:06:27] Hey Dan, thanks for having me back. It's been a busy month. Um, how are you?

Garrett O'Hara: [00:06:32] Yeah, very good. And a busy month. Indeed. As we've seen cyber breaches continue to make the headlines, uh, for the wrong reasons. Probably the most high profile of which recently has been the breach at Lion. What's your insight on the take of what's happened there?

Bradley Singh: [00:06:48] Well, I felt like I needed a, since I'm doing this, uh, segment more regularly, I need to stop, stop starting with, it's been a busy month in security because we're going to get the same thing every single month in terms of new stories, uh, more breaches. Um, but the Lion- Lion company reached formally at Lion Nathan, was uh, another very high profile breach that we saw. Very reminis- reminiscent to me of WannaCry. If you recall, from WannaCry back, what was it two years ago now perhaps?

Garrett O'Hara: [00:07:14] Maybe three, yeah.

Bradley Singh: [00:07:16] Yeah. Time flies. Doesn't it? Um, but I think that was a really interesting one where we saw factories around Australia, including companies like Cadbury as an example, where they rushed to patch systems, they had disruption. So Lion company as an organization, like some of their brands include, um, on the, on the beer side of the business, uh, James Boag, James Squire, and then on the dairy and juice side of the business, you've got brands such as Pure and Big M. I'm a huge fan, fan, of fan of both. But, um, whilst it seems that the disruption has caused a huge degradation to their, their ability to manufacture beer, it doesn't seem like they're too impacted on that front, just due to the fact that, that they had a lot of beer in stock due to the pandemic, um, which I find surprising considering I thought, uh, drinking was on the up, uh, during lockdown, but maybe Australians have lost their tastes of beer. But uh, on the flip side of it though, if you look at their, their dairy business, now that's the business, which they've tried to get up and running as soon as possible because it's perishables, of course. And it seems like they've managed to get some of that up and running again. But obviously this is, you know, this is cheese, this is dairy products sitting in warehouses, which can't be shipped out due to our systems malfunctioning again.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:08:19] Yeah. Look, I think that, I'm glad you said that it had uh, a backlog of supply of beer as, uh, I was really concerned about as we're just coming out of lockdown that, uh, the irony of the pubs open and then there's no beer. So it, um, it was just seemed like an Australian nightmare really, but, uh, but to hear that, uh, they've been able to get that back on track and also get things moving from obviously from the dairy side, which is critically important as well.

Obviously, uh, our friends over in New Zealand are certainly not immune to, to cyber breaches either. And, uh, we've had a number of listeners and, and people subscribe to the show, uh, from Zealand and we've seen recently an attack on one of their largest brands in Fisher and Paykel. Uh, what's, what's happened there, Brad?

Bradley Singh: [00:09:03] Yeah, I think it, it, it proves that, um, the region as a whole, and I think New Zealand has never been immune from any of this stuff. I think geographically, and I guess at the time base and the similarities in businesses to Australia, um, we've definitely seen an increase of tax against Australia, but also, uh, New Zealand being included in that region as well. Um, I think it also shows a continued attack against, uh, industries, which are the backbones of our country. So Fisher and Pikal will be huge and obviously the space that they work in, but backend systems, manufacturing services, um, you know, repair contracts, um, the... And it's almost like that, you know, whilst the economy is being kicked by the pandemic, um, we've then got this disruption as well. So New Zealand is def- definitely not immune.

And we believe it was the same group behind this as, um, the group behind the toll breach, or at least the second one, so Nefilim, whether it's um, a nation state group behind this, or it is a group of hackers out there for profit, um, they're making waves and headlines and we're hearing about it in the news, but it's just another breach. I don't think we're getting the same punch through anymore. And I think it is important to highlight these throughout this time as well, but, uh, it's interesting with the New Zealand stuff. Um, and I think quite often some of our friends over New Zealand think they might be a little bit immune from it, but I'd say you guys are probably just as targeted as Australia.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:10:20] Yeah, definitely. And I think we've seen a recent study from the ACCC sort of highlighting the costs of, of breaches to Australian business and organizations. What, what's your take on, on the scale that we're facing in these attacks and, and the cost to, to organizations locally?

Bradley Singh: [00:10:38] Yeah. Right. So there's a, there's a really good resource for anyone who wants a bit of a bedtime reading. It's called, uh, the Scamwatch report, which the, ACCC reach- release every year and effectively goes into some diff- different detail about how Australian individuals and organizations have been scammed. Uh, the interesting thing in their, uh, their latest edition compared to last year, um, there was 634 million reports to be lost by Australians this year compared to the, um, 489 million last year. So it's about an increase of 30%, but surprisingly the, the, the volume of reports has gone down quite significantly. So there's been a lot less reports, but there's been a 34% increase in financial loss.

And that's absolutely phenomenal in, in the sense that we've kind of gone away from that whole thing of random, large scale attacks to, to more targeted, sophisticated attacks. And if we look at the data that they've then provided around that 132 million of that, uh, was around BC or, or wailing, or, or kind of pretending to be, uh, an executive asking for money. Um, 126 was lost to people investing in a diamond mine somewhere overseas, so fake investments, and then 83 million was lost to, uh, dating and, and romance. And I guess in a time when everybody's locked inside and looking for love, a, a perfect time to strike, but the fact that the numbers have increased and the reports have gone down, it's, where it's, I think it's that it's an even more profitable and lucrative business, than, than we report on.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:11:57] Yeah, it's a, it's scary that the size of those numbers, right? And the different attack vectors that are out there, as well as all of the breaches that we've seen. We've seen a lot of, uh, news lately around privacy related issues as well. And I think one that came up that is, uh, was well covered was regarding uh, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, where they actually uncovered abusive messages hidden in more than 8,000 different transactions. What was going on there?

Bradley Singh: [00:12:25] So this has been something which, to my knowledge, which has been happening for the longest time and, and what it, what it mostly appears to be is it's people who may have restraining orders against them, or, or may have, you know, be stalking someone effectively. And it's one of the last few ways that you can effectively still communicate a message. Um, but what Commonwealth Bank have said, they've identified over 8,000 of these abusive messages. Um, so it could still look it's- yeah, absolutely horrible. Um, but just look just another means of getting a message to an individual. Um, and also I think kind of plays into potentially the, the financial relationship of how that complained to that dynamic as well. Um, but absolutely I think unfortunate for, for, you know, for anybody who's targeted by that type of stuff, but also unfortunately I think a very hard platform for somebody like the police to regulate or an independent authority.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:13:14] And where do you see that, I guess the responsibility lies in, in terms of being able to create that level of protection? Is it, is it an authority? Is it the actual organizations themselves? Do the banking institutions need to, to put in place, um, additional sort of scanning of, of some of these messages? Where- and then that obviously opens up further the issues around privacy, so where, who can take responsibility and where does the buck stop?

Bradley Singh: [00:13:42] It's hard because I obviously, I think as a function of a bank, right? Like you, especially a bank account is to accept, accept, and receive funds. And, and there's this, the, the ability to comment on that as well. Um, what I would say though, is the banks have invested millions of dollars in their technologies to identify fraud, money laundering and other things as well. So I would say it wouldn't be a stretch for them to start identifying abusive messages and then potentially reporting those to the police. Um, but you're right from a responsibility perspective. Like, I, I don't think it can really limit people from sending people money cause that's part of the function. But I think that to your point, there definitely needs to be oversight. And I think they already have the tools there. It's just about how they apply them.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:14:22] Mm-hmm [affirmative], yeah. Often, you're right, it is around the process and the use of the technology that's available, right? So, which also leads into another area that we discussed last month and what was probably the hottest topic at the time regarding the covid safe app. Um, and you know, the question of there's been a lot of downloads, um, but not so much utilization so far. So where does this go from here, right?

Bradley Singh: [00:14:47] It's been a bit of a rollercoaster, the covid safe app. It's, I mean, if we look overseas and how some other countries are reporting Australia's covid safe app, it's a great success. We've got 6 million downloads. Um, the, the, I guess the rate of community transmission up until recently, has been quite low. Um, what, uh, what it looks like, and to be fair, like I, I think the government is doing a good job. They, they released an update to the app, uh, on the 22nd of June to, to help patch a lot of the iOS, iOS issues when your phone's locked as an example. Um, the reality is though, I don't think the app is seeing too much use yet. Um, in terms of how many times it's been utilized, I believe it's been used by health professionals around 34 times in Australia. Um, so, and so they're mostly relying on manual contact tracing, which is quite resource intensive, but it's also pretty accurate and it's kind of getting the job done for now.

What I kind of see happening is I see the app being more powerful or, or, or more useful to us if a second wave comes, which is, is quite big and we, we can't deal with it with, with humans and kind of manual intervention. I think that's where the app could be successful. And I think we've been lucky that throughout the period of time, so far things haven't been bad that we need the app. Um, but if we look at countries like the, the UK as example, they just cut funding for their app, uh, and they are relying solely on, on, on kind of, uh, you know, manual contact tracing. And they've got a lot of flack for that. So I think it's a good, good tool, hopefully that we'll never have to use. And I think they're going a long way in terms of the compatibility issues, but I don't think they've solved that fully yet as well.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:16:16] Um, well, fingers crossed, we don't need it as it for a second wave that's for sure. And I'm not sure that we'd be following the, the UK's advice, um, given their, their false start with the, their herd immunity as well. So there's a, there's definitely a path for us to forge locally around what may be the best practice and how we continue to be safe here, locally.

Last topic I wanted to cover for this month was something that's, uh, very timely for many young people, right at the moment, which is university exams are on, um, for the end of semester one. And it's raised a really interesting issue with, um, everybody having to do exams from home rather than normally sort of in large auditoriums and people coming together and having supervisors on site. So the question and the challenge of, of indigilation of these exams and the use of technology for that is raising some privacy concerns. What's your take on what's happening?

Bradley Singh: [00:17:12] I think, um, for a lot of us we've been looking at, I think that the change in working from home, and I think it says that they're in, in, in it's kind of tired of working from home, but you know, there's a lot of Australians out there who are studying from home remotely. Um, and they've never had to study before. We, we've had teachers who have never used zoom in their entire life, and now they're teaching remote classrooms and trying to collaborate. Um, I actually noticed this cause my, my, my partners at university and walking past when she's in university and you can see everyone's heads up, they have these little groups where people share information back and forth, and it's kind of interesting. Um, it's really, I guess, this huge adoption of technology in a really short period of time, which is absolutely fantastic.

Now on the flip side of it, it's almost kind of like covid safe, right though. So they want a degree of oversight and a part of the, I guess the integrity of, of academia is that we want to ensure people don't cheat. Um, apparently, uh, allegedly 150,000 Australian per year cheat on exams and university. It's, it's quite a common thing to do. And I think it's been part of our culture maybe for the longest time. I'm not saying it's right or wrong in any way. Um, so in an effort to curb that a lot of the universities are installing this quite sophisticated, um, um, software on, on personal computers of students. And it's kind of actually similar to that conversation we're having earlier about stalker, stalkers, via bank accounts. It's the same kind of software that stalkers are using to install on their, um, ex's, uh, ex's computer, as an example.

So not only does this technology monitor your computer to make sure you're not cheating or have anything on the screen, um, they get you to have your webcam hooked up and it does a 360 view of your, um, your room. And, you know, what's going to be lying around in a share house of a bunch of young Australians in their twenties. Um, and the question is who's on the other end as well. Like, is this outsourced? Is this by the same exam proctors? I just think it's very invasive.

And also I think the university, a lot of universities have been very quick to adopt something like this. Whereas we have other universities who have said, we're not going to do the same type of proctoring through our exams. We're not going to monitor students, but we're going to change the exams this year to be more, um, more essay based and more not, not based off memory, um, which I think is, is better because I think we need to adapt to the situation , and make young people feel comfortable instead of, you know, signing up to this invasive software. Like I would- unbelievable.

And I think if we think about this compared to the workplace, like, you know, we always hear these stories of workplaces spying on us, 1984, looking at workplace monitoring and productivity, but in a previous, a previous, previous role I worked at, um, we did have cameras, which monitored how long customer service staff was sitting at their desks and managers got a report around that. So I think it really does highlight that whilst visibility can be powerful, uh, I think, especially for something as big as, as an exam process and, and the challenges universities are facing right now, I think we need to be accommodating for everyone.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:19:56] Yeah. It is an interesting area, certainly the, the integrity of those results and, and what they mean for often setting people up going forward as well is, is really important. But you can't do that at the expense of breaching people's privacy either. So it's a, it's a difficult line and something that in this new world, everybody is, uh, trying to come to terms with and create, I guess, what is going to work best, given, uh, these scenarios that haven't really appeared, uh, previously. So definitely work in progress and, uh, plenty going on, but thanks again Brad. Really appreciate your time and insight into so many different areas across what's happened in the industry over the last month and uh, looking forward to discussing what I'm sure will be a busy July as well.

Bradley Singh: [00:20:38] Thanks for having me, we'll see you next month.

Dan McDermott: [00:20:45] Uh, welcome back for our final part of this episode, which is our hot topic in review. And I think for this month, there's no doubting that there is no hotter topic than our prime minister announcing that Australia is under cyber attack. I'm certainly not sure about you, but I certainly know I had a feeling mild, maybe not so mild panic attack at the time wondering what was happening and where we were getting breached from and what the impact would be to, to our customers of iron cast ripe and what that might mean. But as we worked through realizing that it wasn't quite the imminent attack, that was seemed to be at an announced at the time, but there was a, there's a lot to this, right? In terms of, uh, why, why come out now? What is the reasoning behind this? Are we really seeing, you know, a state-based attack against Australia and Australian organizations. So to unpack this, be interested to hear your thoughts and opinion on, on what's happened here and what it means for us going forward.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:21:46] I was the same as you Dan. So like when the, uh, I'm sure your phone was the same, um, I was actually in the middle of, uh, something completely different. And, and I noticed my phone was unusually flashy and then beside me, so it kinda looked over and there was all these messages coming in saying, Oh my God, you know, you realize the PMs about to make an announcement on this imminent attack or whatever the language was. I think it was, you know, massive cyber attack was, was how it is, um, it was pitched. So I kind of dropped everything, jumped on the, uh, news conference and watch that kind of live on ABC and, you know, slowly watched as the panic tripped away. And, you know, I stopped looking at the window for the parachutes coming, you know, falling through the sky, um, and realized actually, not that it wasn't a story, but it certainly wasn't a massive attack. It was actually, I think what we in the industry would have recognized has been around for some time and something that we've talked about, which is really just a, a sustained attack, elevated levels of attack across, granted, lots of different areas. So, you know, he talked about federal state and local level government and supporting entities and agencies, and then obviously private enterprise also.

Um, but it, it struck me as kind of one of those things that happens these days, where the initial who has very big and bold and gets everybody's attention. But the actual thing that is happening is maybe less exciting, you know, less sexy, but in some ways, maybe more dangerous and more important to pay attention to because it is slower, um, it is sustained and it is happening in the background. So it sort of felt like maybe a missed opportunity in a way, um, to, to really frame the importance of cyber security in a useful way, rather than, and I think you sort of alluded to it, but like use it as a way to potentially distract a citizenship from other things that were happening in the news. Um, you know, the previous days, and again, maybe that's me being a little bit cynical, but, um, I know it was sort of an opinion that was shared by many people in the industry, um, that the announcement was probably less around cybersecurity and maybe more around politics.

Dan McDermott: [00:23:47] No, never. That certainly couldn't be the case.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:23:50] I know. No, never.

Dan McDermott: [00:23:53] I guess I think though what it has done is has raised the issue of cyber security and resilience to a new level of understanding across the community. Something that people who normally wouldn't pay that much attention to it. And it hasn't been such a day to day sort of issue. Um, it's top of mind for, for everybody now. Um, I know, um, we were allowed to have barbecues last weekend and was able to have one. Um, and it certainly was a topic, right. And coming up from, you know, the older people who, who haven't been, you know, wouldn't normally pay attention to this either. So it has raised the awareness level, I guess, across the community. Um, I guess now it is around what do we do with that awareness? And then what's the response that's sort of appropriate from here?

Garrett O'Hara: [00:24:35] Yeah. And, and you're spot on. Um, definitely one of those things where I think the positive that will come from it is the, as you say, the awareness and, and that's, you know, as private citizens, but probably also the, the business community, um, and the people who make decisions around which projects get the green light or not, um, whether that's private enterprise or within government. And you know, that, um, this cyber report, two parliaments from 2017 was pretty clear, like there's gaps there and highlighted across things like the essential aid and the adoption of, uh, modern technology and platforms.

And, you know, some of the limitations that exist and in terms of, uh, government organizations and entities being able to do a good job of security and, you know, obviously don't wanna get into the politics, but it's really hard to do things if you're not funded. And I suspect as many, uh, managers, security managers in many organizations and entities that have wanted to do a better job of security, but when they go to get funding, that funding is not available. And because we're, we're talking about things that aren't, you can point to them, you know, it's not like building a big ship or building a new, um, motorway or a new tunnel somewhere where, you know, people can see that they can point at it. The stuff we're talking about is electrons, you know, it's bits and bytes, and there's no way to really see the effect of good cyber security practices and approaches. So my hope would be, um, and as you said, you know, with the PMs announcement that, that kind of broader now awareness of the importance of this stuff and the fact that it is happening because they think that's like being honest, there is a danger sometimes that quite often what's being reported is big stories and, you know, Bradley and yourself just talked about these toll, um, uh, line Fisher and Pikal, and those ransomware attacks ticket, you know, get the news.

But, you know, if I own a Fisher and Paykel washing machine, I'm probably not really that concerned about the fact that they as an organization have been attacked, but it feels a little bit different when you read the Australia, you know, Australia, we're Australians, it's us, it's a very different emotion that evokes, or is it evoked from a headline that says, you know, Australia under massive cyber attack, 'cause that's not the same as the people I buy my beer from, or my washing machines from.

So I think emotionally, um, as private citizens, you're spot on. I got all these people who honestly, I don't think care at all about cyber security, were texting and, uh, you know, over beers were asking me about what, what does this all mean? Um, but I think the really important part is the folks in the boardrooms, the folks who are driving strategies and programs of works within organizations, and who are on the hook for a P and L or for, you know, for shareholder value, hopefully, you know, something like the announcement from the PM will kind of just, again, raise their shackles a little bit and maybe get them to pay more attention to the, uh, security leaders that probably have been asking for more budget, more people, more resources, buy in for projects, support for awareness training programs, all of those things. So, you know, my hope is, um, that's the positive change that comes from all of this.

 Yeah. And I think my advice on this is that it is analogous to, uh, if symptoms persist, you know, see, you see your GP right? Um, I think symptoms are persisting inside in cyber[inaudible 00:27:51]. We've seen this sustained attack for a long period. Um, it is real. Um, so I think that the advice from my side would be who is your GP for cyber? Who is your trusted cyber advisor that you can go to? Um, and have that conversation with about what can you do? Um, and how can you actually improve your cyber resilience strategy, um, to make a difference and do the best that you can with, like you say, the resources that you have available? I think you've got to have that trusted advisor.

And, you know, I guess one of the takes I saw out of it, and some of the fallout, I guess, from the media response was from across the vendor community. Not all of which was great. There was certainly some, you know, vendors doing a bit of ambulance tracing and I'm, I think the funniest I heard from, uh, was a pitch to media from one vendor was we have an awesome cybersecurity expert, give us a call. Um, so obviously that didn't happen. They never got any coverage. Um, but it certainly became a bit of a running joke across sort of the, the media and PR landscape that, uh, that they thought that was a good idea.

Um, but I think it also just highlights a bit like where we're at with cybersecurity in Australia, the maturity of the industry needs, uh, needs to improve as well, right? And how do we have to respond to this and become that trusted advisor and become that sort of, you know, that GP for organizations to, for, from a cyber perspective. I think that's a, that's a critical aspect of this. So, certainly I think, uh, the opportunity for the industry to look at how we mature and be able to provide that trusted advice to organizations, to have that cyber response and be trusted in what we say is very important and something that I think, uh, we can all learn from and take that further in terms of how we support the go forward and the response to what the PM has certainly put on the agenda for everybody to consider.

Dan McDermott: [00:29:49] Thanks very much Gar for your time today. And Brad, it's been terrific to be able to unpack what's happened in June, cover some of the big issues, um, and looking forward to, uh, catching up again in July and reviewing then the, the next month in cyber in Australia. Thanks again.

Garrett O'Hara: [00:30:09] And that is a wrap for June where the months are flying past with COVID life. Thanks to Dan for hosting the episode today. Thanks to Bradley for the insights. Please do dip into the past archives. And if you like what you hear, we'd appreciate it. If you subscribe and rate us, it helps us a lot. If there's a topic you want us to cover, drop us a line and let us know for now. Thanks for listening to the get cyber resilient podcast. And I really do look forward to catching you on the next episode.

Principal Technical Consultant

Garrett O’Hara is the Principal Technical Consultant at Mimecast having joined in 2015 with the opening of the Sydney office, leading the growth and development of the local team. With over 20 years of experience across development, UI/UX, technology communication, training development and mentoring, Garrett now works to help organisations understand and manage their cyber resilience strategies. When not talking about the cyber security landscape, data assurance approaches and business continuity Garrett can be found running, surfing or enjoying the many bars and eateries of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

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