Deloitte launches online Australian cyber intelligence centre

Professional services firm Deloitte has set up an online cyber intelligence centre in Australia to help its clients respond to data breaches and other cyber security issues.

The centre will link up with the firm's other centres in the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada and the United States to share information about the latest cyber threats and provide 24/7 support. Deloitte staff in the company's offices around Australia including Sydney and Melbourne will help clients monitor and watch out for pre-emptive cyber security threats.

Deloitte cyber practice leader James Nunn-Price, who is in charge of the virtual centre, said that targeted attacks are evolving faster than Australian businesses can react.

Citing statistics from the Ponemon Institute's 2014 Cost of Data Breach Global Analysis, he said that the average cost of a data breach per Australian organisation is over $2.5 million per year.

"Cyber risks are a result of dynamic targeted threats. On an industrial scale, they are focused at the digital assets, operations and information of the organisation," said Nunn-Price.

The announcement by Deloitte follows the launch of a crisis management arm in Australia in October 2014 to help organisations deal with disasters ranging from data breaches to an Ebola outbreak.

The firm has conducted large scale simulation exercises with clients, which run the gamut from dealing with their network getting taken down to answering media questions about a data breach.

Commenting on the centre, Deloitte cyber risk services partner Tommy Viljoen said Australian businesses need what he called "actionable intelligence".

"They need to transform how they think about cyber security. Building more secure environments and higher firewalls no longer works because the cyber criminals are already on the inside. Working on the basis of having already been attacked and preparing for more complex attacks to happen again is what's needed."

Read more:CSIRO to pilot online privacy tool

For example, Viljoen said he welcomed the federal government's Cyber Security Review, which was announced in November 2014. Concerns about online threats against Australia led to the federal government launching a review of its cyber security strategy for the first time since 2008.

The Review will look at how government and industry can work together to improve the security of online systems.

"It [the review] was long overdue given the changing environment that we have. We've had some good progress on the privacy front as well because at last the Privacy Commissioner [Timothy Pilgrim] has some teeth and can assist organisations."

Viljoen also praised the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework, which sets out how federal agencies must protect information and assets.

"There is a protective framework that agencies had to adopt. There is far more effort around vigilance and resilience to what has happened in the past," he said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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