Optus acquires cybersecurity company

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Optus Cyber Security will acquire Hivint Strategic to boost the Trustwave security services across Optus Business, parent company Singtel has announced, including across technical, risk, governance, and compliance solutions.

“This acquisition will strengthen Optus Business’ cybersecurity capabilities as Trustwave, the global cybersecurity arm of Singtel and Optus, integrates Hivint’s advisory services into Trustwave’s security offerings across Australia and the Asia Pacific,” Singtel said.

Hivint’s software-as-a-service platform Security Colony provides access to information security management systems, policies, standards, and templates for subscribers, according to the Singaporean carrier.

Optus Business MD John Paitaridis said the acquisition adds to the telco’s position as “one of Australia’s leading cybersecurity service providers” for both enterprise and government.

“Protecting businesses from data breaches, disruption of operations, and loss of IP and economic assets has become a key objective for C-suite and board-level executives,” Trustwave CEO and Singtel Global Cyber Security CEO Arthur Wong said.

“Additionally, Australia’s business leaders already leveraging Hivint as a preferred security advisor now have direct access to the complete Trustwave portfolio of security solutions, managed security services, and advanced education programs.”

Optus and Singtel have been focused on boosting their cybersecurity offerings, with the former investing AU$3.5 million into the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (CSCRC), made up of AU$2.1 million in cash and AU$1.4 million worth of staff, in November last year.

The Optus staffers provide the CSCRC with cybersecurity expertise while they work on developing solutions and providing training and guidance “to help bridge Australia’s cyberskills shortage” for seven years.

The telco had a year prior opened its Advanced Security Operations Centre (ASOC) alongside Trustwave, offering managed cybersecurity services to enterprise and government customers.

Optus Business had added cybersecurity prevention, detection, and monitoring capabilities to its government and enterprise managed security services portfolio in September 2016.

It additionally co-invested AU$8 million alongside La Trobe University in Melbourne to form a cybersecurity degree and digitise the university and its Sports Park, and similarly co-invested AU$10 million with Macquarie University in May to establish a cybersecurity hub that will provide research, degree programs, executive and business short courses, professional recruiting opportunities, and consultancy services to the private sector and government agencies.

In May last year, Optus also launched an online cyber education program for secondary school, university, and TAFE students in partnership with LifeJourney International. The program provides free online courses, enabling them to experience a day as an Optus cybersecurity expert.

For the quarter ended June 30, Optus announced enterprise business operating revenue up 6.6 percent to AU$386 million, with IT and managed services up 17.6 percent to AU$173 million. Optus attributed this increase to continuing growth in cybersecurity.

Singtel in April also formed a global cybersecurity group with SoftBank, Etisalat, and Telefonica to share data on security threats and utilise each other’s resources.

The Global Telco Security Alliance offers a managed security services platform supporting over 1.2 billion customers across 60 countries in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, backed up by a joint 22 security operation centres (SOCs) and more than 6,000 cybersecurity professionals.

“We need swift and coordinated global responses to defend enterprises that operate across transnational borders, as cyber threats are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication,” Wong said in April.

“The group’s resources, combined with those of its alliance partners, will provide a robust cyber security platform to protect our global customers.”

Singtel in August reported SG$114 million in group cybersecurity operating revenue.

“Cybersecurity revenue was stable in constant currency terms. The cybersecurity business in the Asia Pacific region maintained its momentum and achieved strong double-digit growth,”the company said.

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