New security firm recruits former chief govt cyber advisor

CyberCX scores former Optus Business MD, ACSC head

The former head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), Alastair MacGibbon, has been appointed chief strategy officer of newly formed security firm CyberCX.

MacGibbon was the government’s national cyber security advisor until he departed in May. In 2016 he was appointed special adviser to the prime minister on cyber security, and he led the ACSC from December 2017.

The company will be led by Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis.

CyberCX said it would have an initial headcount of more than 400, with more than 20 offices delivering a national footprint for the firm.

It is backed by private equity firm BGH Capital and brings together 12 Australian security brands: Alcorn, Assurance, Asterisk, CQR, Diamond, Enosys, Klein&Co., Phriendly Phishing, Sense of Security, Shearwater, TSS, and YellIT.

“The transactions are subject to conditions including regulatory approvals,” a statement issued by CyberCX  said. “More organisations will be announced in the near future.”

Paitaridis departed Optus earlier this year to lead the technology, media and telecommunications practice of BGH Capital.

“The rapid increase in the number of cyber security threats globally is creating unprecedented risk and exposure for organisations in Australia which must be addressed,” Paitaridis said.

“Cyber security risk should be a number one priority for business owners, senior executives and board directors as organisations increasingly embrace digital connected technologies. It is clear that many businesses, enterprises and government organisations are not yet well enough advised, supported or equipped to defend their mission critical assets.”

“CyberCX is committed to being the employer of choice for cyber security and will recruit, develop and grow the best talent in the country,” MacGibbon said.

“Cyber security is a global problem that is growing. It is the greatest existential threat we face as a society. The reach of cyber threats is pervasive, from websites, email and mobiles, to cars, financial systems, power grids, industrial systems and the internet of things. There is no safe harbour.”