Australian businesses “struggling” to stay ahead of cloud, mobile security risk

The ongoing scourge of ransomware and a persistent lack of knowledge around proper security procedures are helping drive strong growth for Dell SecureWorks in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, according to the head of the company's regional security operations.

That strong demand had emerged in the two years since the company set up a physical presence in this country, Security and Risk Consulting managing director Alan White told CSO Australia, with new security compromises putting steady and new pressures on information-security executives.

While ransomware attacks continue to catch many organisations unawares – White recalled helping one Australian company deal with a ransomware infection gained through an inadvertently-opened malware infection just weeks ago – it was the sheer volume of data that was revealing weak spots in companies' cyber defences, he said.

“Most people are truly undercounting the security logs they have and in the heat of the moment they are really struggling,” he said. “They don't know what to do with those logs. Even while we're talking about what to do, sometimes, the logs are being overwritten. They don't understand the need for longevity around it.”

Steady growth in Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance work had provided another pipeline for local growth, with the broader remit of managed security services (MSS) proving appealing for organisations that had come to appreciate the need to bring in outside specialist expertise.

Increasing demand had boosted Dell SecureWorks' focus on building out its regional security operations centre (SOC), boosting its presence in Japan as well as in Australia. “It's keeping us busy from a growth perspective,” White said. “We're hiring pretty aggressively and keeping current staff quite busy; in Australia, particularly, we're starting to have a mixed collection of services.”

The changes in the malware threat, and in the options available to help organisations deal with it, formed a significant part of the discussion at the recent Dell User Forum ANZ, held this month in Sydney and well-attended as end-user organisations increasingly turned to outside providers to help fight back against the crush of new security threats.

With mobility and cloud computing both providing new context for existing threats and giving new aspects to others, White said many of the organisations driving the market hadn't yet come to grips with these new vectors.

“I'm not sure the average organisation has spent enough time thinking about their consumption of cloud and mobile devices,” he explained, noting that such indecisiveness leaves organisations open to attacks from malware such as the insidious Cryptolocker.

Read more: The CISO Agenda for 2014/2015

Developing a proactive response to known attacks will prove crucial as organisations increase their exposure to such online nasties, White continued.

“There's still a fair bit of uncertainty about how to take the same security posture they have on their legacy architecture, to make sure they're really prepared for cloud and mobile risks. How you respond to these from an incident response perspective or a forensic capability, really changes the dynamics of the consumption of the technologies.”

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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Tags security and riskdirectors for CSO Australiainformation-security executivesDell SecureWorksPayment Card Industry (PCI)malwaremobile security riskransomware attacksAsia-PacificAustralian businessesEnex TestLabmanaged security services (MSS)Alan WhiteCloudSecurity operations centre (SOC)ransomwareCSO Australia

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